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Tag Archives: Migrant workers

Camila Pastor De Maria Campos. “Performers or Prostitutes?: Artistes during the French Mandate over Syria and Lebanon, 1921–1946”. Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Volume 13, Number 2, July 2017, pp. 287-311.
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Abstract
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Analyzing memoirs from the Arab diaspora and Mashriq, colonial archives, interviews, League of Nations reports, and mandate legal literature, this article tracks the circulation and regulation of mobile women engaging in performance and sex work in French Mandate Syria and Lebanon (1921–46). The French metropolitan system of regulated prostitution was imported yet transformed in the mandate region as women performers were sorted into legitimate, if morally suspect, foreign artistes and autochthonous performers defined as prostitutes by decrees and codes. Regional and transnational mobility and the institutionalization of borders by colonial administrations destabilized their own distinctions between foreign and autochthonous, however. Women used these contradictions, overlapping legal frameworks, and artistry to continue to work and limit the extraction of their resources by a variety of institutional actors who nevertheless expected sexual and entertainment services to be afforded to foreign and local men.

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Sharon Pickering and Julie Ha (2013): Hot Pants at the Border Sorting Sex Work from Trafficking, in: British JOurnal of Criminology, Online First.

Abstract

The role of borders in managing sex work is a valuable site for analysing the relationship between criminal justice and migration administration functions. For the purposes of this article, we are concerned with how generalized concerns around trafficking manifest in specific interactions between immigration officials and women travellers. To this end, this article contributes to a greater understanding of the micro-politics of border control and the various contradictions at work in the everyday performance of the border. It uses an intersectional analysis of the decision making of immigration officers at the border to understand how social differences become conflated with risk, how different social locations amplify what is read as risky sexuality and how sexuality is constructed in migration. What the interviews in our research have demonstrated is that, while the border is a poor site for identifying cases of trafficking into the sex industry, it is a site of significant social sorting where various intersections of intelligence-led profiling and everyday stereotyping of women, sex work and vulnerability play out.

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Author: Kamala Kempadoo, 1998

Citation (APA): Kempadoo, K. (1998). Globalizing Sex Workers’ Rights. Canadian Woman Studies/Les Cahiers de la Femme, 22(3/4), 143-150.

Summary:

Kempadoo examines the trajectories of workers’ participation in sex work and in sex workers’ rights movements in different times and places. In particular, she addresses the specificity of experience as it relates to nation and region, and the effect of economic globalization (WTO, NAFTA) on the sex industries.

Read the full article here: http://pi.library.yorku.ca/ojs/index.php/cws/article/viewFile/6426/5614

Johansson, Isabelle (21013): “Do ut des”: An anthropological study on the agendas of  ’anti’-trafficking measures in Italy.

Full paper available here.  

Trafficking in human beings is a topic that has received a lot of attention the last ten years. It
has been referred to as a modern form of slavery and a crime against humanity. There is a
flood of actors working to fight trafficking and save its victims, occupied with different forms
of victim assistance. At the same time the European Union is augmenting restrictions on visas
and asylum legislation, border controls and deportations, which makes migrants from certain
countries who wish to travel to Europe despite these restrictions vulnerable to exploitation.
Italy has been acknowledged for providing the best practice of protection for ‘victim of
trafficking’, since it offers a residence permit developed especially for identified ‘trafficking
victims’. Claiming victimhood is often the only way for irregular migrant women in the sex
industry to obtain a legal status in contemporary Italy. However, the category and its legal and
social benefits are out of reach to many. It is not possible to just claim to be a victim but one
must do so by surrendering to certain ideas about what constitutes a ‘victim of trafficking’ and
provide what it expected. This study will examine the interconnection between migration
management and trafficking anthropologically, with a focus on ‘anti’-trafficking measures in
Italy and the concept of victimhood in the practices who take on the women who are in the
process of obtaining the legal status of ‘victims of trafficking’ and the following residence
permit. By looking at trafficking from a structural perspective I will show how the ‘victim of
trafficking’ is created, and how it is connected to the state and its migration policies.

Ildikó Pallmann und Anne Pawletta (2011) Menschenhandel zum Zweck der Arbeitsausbeutung – ein Thema für Gewerkschaften?

Full article available here (pp. 177).

Human trafficking for forced labor purposes is receiving more and more attention in the public discourse on human trafficking. In this article, we will address a number of questions regarding the work done by trade unions to counteract human trafficking for forced labor purposes, beginning with some thoughts on why unions are active in this field. What examples exist for successful union involvement?
And what difficulties might prevent a stronger and more substantial commitment by unions? Many cases of human trafficking occur in sectors with a low rate of unionization, or areas like domestic services, which are generally difficult for unions to reach. The gap between unions and the sectors that are especially important is increased by a number of unions clinging to “old” traditional industries. Also, many of the people in question are migratory workers. In this article, we will analyze the innovative approaches used by unions to overcome these difficulties – for instance, by organizing migratory workers in unions or union-affiliated associations, and offering low-threshold advice for people who could be potentially affected.

Pande, Amrita (2013): “The Paper that You Have in Your Hand is My Freedom”: Migrant Domestic Work and the Sponsorship (Kafala) System in Lebanon, in: International Migration Review Volume 47, Issue 2, pages 414–441, June 2013

A recent report on migrant domestic work in Lebanon has cited psychological disorder among Lebanese “Madams” as the leading cause of violence against their migrant maids (Jureidini, 2011, www.kafa.org.lb/StudiesPublicationPDF/PRpdf38.pdf). This report typifies much of the existing scholarship on the experiences of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in the Middle East, where the focus is on employer–employee relationships, especially the abusive Arab “Madam.” In this paper, I argue that the portrayal of violations of MDW rights as abuse of one set of women by another is inherently problematic on several fronts. It privatizes the structural problem of workers’ and immigrant rights violations, delegates it to the household, and absolves the state of its responsibility. Moreover, the focus on abusive employers takes attention away from the root of the problem – the inherently exploitative system of migration and recruitment in the region, the sponsorship system. The sponsorship system not only creates conditions for much of these violations, but also systematically produces a new population of readily exploitable worker – the category of “illegal workers.” Oral histories and interviews with individual workers are employed to analyze the process by which illegal workers are “produced” in Lebanon. Finally, focus group discussions highlight critical policy recommendations made by the workers themselves, which address the systemic bases of their exploitation in Lebanon.