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Petra Östergren (2017): From Zero-Tolerance to Full Integration: Rethinking Prostitution Policies. DemandAT Working Paper No. 10.
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Abstract
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This tenth DemandAT working paper by Petra Östergren fom Lund University develops a typology for prostitution policy regimes. Based on an inductive methodological approach, it presents a typology of three general prostitution policy models (or regimes), as repressive, restrictive or integrative. The intention of such a tripartite typology is that it can serve as a tool for assessing, evaluating and comparing prostitution policies, even in cases where they seem to contain contradictory or incoherent elements. Besides using the prostitution policy typology for analytical purposes, it can also serve as a tool for developing context-sensitive measures against violence, exploitation and trafficking in human beings in the sex work sector.

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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.

 

Amy Farrell, Colleen Owens, Jack McDevitt (2013): New laws but few cases: understanding the challenges to the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases, Crime, Law and Social Change.

Abstract

All fifty states and the federal government have passed laws to combat human trafficking, but we know little about their effectiveness. Using data from investigative case records and court files for 140 human trafficking cases in 12 U.S. counties and qualitative interviews with law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim service providers, we examined the characteristics of and challenges to investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases under new state and federal laws. We found that few human trafficking cases are identified by local law enforcement, most cases forwarded to state prosecution are sex trafficking cases involving U.S. citizens, and state prosecutors overwhelmingly charge human trafficking offenders with other, lesser crimes. The legal, institutional, and attitudinal challenges that constrain prosecution of human trafficking are similar across study sites despite varying types of state antitrafficking legislation. Study results suggest prosecution of human trafficking cases is challenging. If new laws are to be effective, then local law enforcement and prosecutors should work collaboratively and adopt proactive human trafficking investigative strategies to identify both labor and sex trafficking cases. There is social benefit to holding traffickers accountable, but more emphasis should be placed on policies that identify and serve victims.

The recent elevation of trafficking in persons, particularly the trafficking of women into sexual servitude, to the international agenda has resulted in the rapid introduction of national and international policy responses. Law and order has dominated policy responses globally and this is evident within the South East Asian region, where Australia and Thailand have both introduced efforts to address trafficking in persons that have largely focused upon victimisation and criminalisation. This article argues that while the criminal exploitation of women and the pursuit of justice dominate the policy narrative, the border is a significant driving force in the design and operation of the policy. While borders are rarely the focus of discussion around people trafficking, this article identifies that even in vastly different locations (politically, socioeconomically, and culturally) the border plays a central role – symbolically and materially – in the policy response and this is evidenced through examining the critical role of repatriation in the policy frameworks.