While the debate on regulating prostitution usually focuses on national policy, it is local policy measures that have the most impact on the ground. This book is the first to offer a detailed analysis of the design and implementation of prostitution policy at the local level and carefully situates local policy practices in national policy making and transnational trends in labour migration and exploitation. Based on detailed comparative research in Austria and the Netherlands, and bringing in experiences in countries such as New Zealand and Sweden, it analyses the policy instruments employed by local administrators to control prostitution and sex workers. Bridging the gap between theory and policy, emphasizing the multilevel nature of prostitution policy, while also highlighting more effective policies on prostitution, migration and labour exploitation, this unique book fills a gap in the literature on this contentious and important social issue.
The book is available for free under CC-License and can be shared and distributed freely from here.
This article describes and discusses the results of two comparative studies of prostitution policy in Europe that are complementary in their design and methodology. One is a comparison of 21 countries using a most different systems design; the other an in-depth comparison of Austria and The Netherlands, using a most similar systems design. The two studies found a remarkable continuity in the inherent approach to the regulation of prostitution and its effects. Despite differences in political regime, administrative organization, and national cultures, since the middle of the 19th century, the purpose of prostitution policy has been to impose strict controls on sex workers and to a lesser extent their work sites. The effects of this approach have been disappointing: despite rhetorical claims to the contrary the control of sex workers has no discernable effect on the prevalence of prostitution in society. The effects of policies aimed at control are mostly negative in that they corrode the human and labor rights of sex workers. The article discusses several challenges to the regulation of prostitution (such as its deeply moral nature and the lack of precise and reliable data) as well a number of other important outcomes (such as the importance of local policy implementation for the effects of regulation). The article concludes with the empirically substantiated suggestion that a form of collaborative governance in which sex worker advocacy organizations participate in the design and implementation of prostitution policy offers real prospects for an effective and humane prostitution policy.
Full article available here.
The Amsterdam Red-Light district is a globalised mass-entertainment place for sex consumption. But the visitors touring the Red-Light district are far more diverse than sex tourists: men, women, gay, straight, stag or cultural tourists tour this place to feel the thrill of desire and disgust. The paper documents this process of commodification by these visitors, engaging with their lived experiences through ethnographic research and in-depth interviews. The paper shows the diversity of the consumption practices and representations of the spectacle of commodified sex, explaining how the emotions experienced by those touring the sex district draw on intersectional belongings (gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity). Intertwining affective and moral geographies, it concludes by arguing that the symbolic consumption of the Red-Light district cannot necessarily be predicted by virtue of standard categories of belonging, with identity formation and the consumption of sex being shaped by a complex dynamic of looks and gazes.
Uhl, Bärbel, et. al: Data Protection Challenges in Anti-Trafficking Policies – A Practical Guide, 2015.
The European NGO initiative datACT – data protection in anti-trafficking action published the practical guide “Data Protection Challenges in Anti-Trafficking Policies”.
The publication offers an overview of the relevant European data protection provisions, a methodology to conduct privacy impact assessments for anti-trafficking NGO service providers, an analysis for the privacy rights claims for trafficked persons, and data protection standards for NGO service providers. Moreover, the study contains an elaboration of legal arguments that lead in 2013 to the failure of mandatory registration of sex workers in the Netherlands.
Brittany V. Sykes, Whore or Homemaker? The Rocky State of Illegal Prostitution in the Newly-Formed South Sudan and a Practical Resolution to Curtail the Epidemic, 42 Ga. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 189 (2013).
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/gjicl/vol42/iss1/9
Sara Vida Coumans; How Age Matters: Exploring contemporary Dutch debates on age and sex work, Working Paper
No. 588 ISS.
Social protection policies regarding sex work in The Netherlands use ‘age’ as an instrument to create binaries between adults and young people. The concept ‘chronological age’ assumes that age is a static feature and supports the process of categorization; however, age is a socially constructed phenomenon and has an embodied experience that is gendered. The objective of this research is to understand the role of ‘age’ in shaping social protection policies regarding sex work in The Netherlands, by analyzing how age is understood by those involved in the design and implementation of policies related to sex work in The Netherlands.
Full paper available here
Excerpt from the conclusion:
Drawing on research in the UK and the Netherlands, this article considers the respective legislative backgrounds, recent policy changes and their implication for sex workers in off-street environments. It considers the impact of different regulatory models on the employment rights, safety and welfare of sex workers and explores how working conditions in different indoor settings might be improved through legal and policy changes. We argue that although decriminalization of sex work is a precondition to secure the labour and human rights of sex workers, the involvement of sex workers in policy development and facilitation of different modes of working are necessary to improve their working conditions and autonomy.
Petra de Vries, From Slave to Sex Worker.Feminist Debates and Prostitution Politics in the Netherlands, 1880–2000, in: L’Homme, 2010.
Today’s approach to prostitution in the Netherlands reflects the currency of the concept of “agency” advocated by feminists since the 1980s. Yet while defining prostitution as “sex work” implies entitlements, it also glosses over gendered inequality, writes Petra de Vries. Can the abolitionist arguments of the nineteenth century provide the basis for an alternative?
Full article available here.