Migration, Trafficking and Sex Work: Links and Papers
from Laura Agustin
Commentary on Sex Work and Migration (Early work courtesy
of Laura M. Agustín.)
Social-justice activists internationally have hailed
as progressive and humane the 1998 report The Sex Sector: The Economic
and Social Bases of Prostitution in Southeast Asia. Edited by
Lin Lean Lim of the International Labour Office in Geneva, the book
recommends that the sex industry be included in official government
accountings, first, because of its enormous contributions to regional
economies, and second, as the only way to improve the situation of
those employed as sex workers.
Sex Sector: A Victory for Diversity
There is no one study that proves or disproves the
"health effects" of prostitution, because that would mean essentialising
a single aspect of the lives of all the world's people who have any
kind of transactions involving sex and money...
Effects of Prostitution": Which Health? Which Prostitution?
From the point of view of many Third World migrant
prostitutes, Europeans are confused about sex. At tourism sites away
from home, Europeans seem sophisticated about the possibilities of
holiday sex and affection, and many invite new friends or facilitate
trips to Europe to work. Yet once in Europe, migrants find that, despite
abundant opportunities to work--meaning their services are desired--they
themselves are despised, pitied and harassed, often more than they
would be at home...
Confused About Sex, Say Migrant Prostitutes
Los migrantes que vienen a trabajar en la industria
sexual europea son de toda clase, color, edad, etnia, nacionalidad,
y no sólo son mujeres sino hombres y transgéneros también . . . La
gran mayoría, concuerdan fuentes por todos lados del mundo, ha entendido
que su trabajo futuro o será directamente prostitución o que tendrá
un aspecto sexual...
en la industria del sexo
Migrant workers in the European sex industry come
from every conceivable background, in terms of class, ethnicity, nationality
and age, and they aren't just women but men and transgenders as well.
They arrive in Europe via countless routes, alone, with friends, in
couples or in accompanied groups. Some of them arrive with money to
spend while others arrive indebted. They may be using their own real
documents and a tourist visa, or falsified papers and a real work
permit or any combination of true and false 'papers'...
in the European Sex Industry: Migrant Possibilities
Tanto sociólogos y trabajadores de salud pública como
médicos miran a la prostituta no como cuerpo entero sino que sólo
como sus partes capaces de portar y transmitir enfermedades sexuales....
de cuerpo entero
"Although commercial sex is now recognised as a global,
multi-billion dollar industry, its workers--in their millions--are
only referred to as 'illegals', as victims of 'trafficking' and as
potential 'vectors' of HIV/AIDS--when they are referred to at all."
Speak, But Who Listens?
To empower me as sex worker you assume the role of
acting on me and you assume that I see myself as an individual engaged
in sex work. If I don't see myself this way, then I am disqualified
from the empowerment project, despite your best intentions. The 'identity'
issue here is crucial...
Em- Of Empowerment
People in the audience with questions not falling
into the CATW line were either ignored, silenced or violently attacked,
verbally, by panelists, many of whom were members of CATW. The strong
presence of the Coalition was not, however, made public. Janice Raymond
spoke with heavy emphasis on the threat of those who do not follow
the definitions mentioned above, actually pausing at one point to
look around the hall and warn: "There might even be some of them right
here in this room with us."
A letter to the Ford
Sex Work and Migration
Laura Mª Agustín: Research and education on the sex
industry and ‘third world’ migrants. Focus on NGO and ‘solidarity’
projects that work with migrant prostitutes. Affiliations with the
Open University, United Kingdom, and Colectivo Ioé (Madrid) and the
Society for International
In Europe, many recent migrants are destined to work
in prostitution. The majority of them, upon leaving their countries,
know their work will have a sexual component, but it is difficult
for them to know beforehand the common work conditions, the problems
associated with using falsified documents and the possibilities of
falling into the hands of opportunists or criminals...
for Migrants/Conexiones para Migrantes: