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Background Papers

A series of background debate papers were written for the Brussels Conference. Below are links to these papers.

Sex Work Thru Gender

Very often in commercial sex a large majority of workers are women and a large majority of clients are men. It may well be for this reason that gender is considered a central issue in commercial sex, and it is by now taken as granted that women should have an important voice in the debate.

Migration and Sex Work

In the past few decades, the number of migrant workers who sell sexual services has increased rapidly in Europe, some estimates suggesting that they greatly outnumber Europeans. These migrant women, transgenders and men come to Europe from all over the world in and are found working in the many jobs available within the European sex industry.

Trafficking and Sex Work

What is wrong with the anti-trafficking framework? Trafficking in Human Beings is a complex problem, related to different fields and interests: migration, organized crime, prostitution, human rights, violence against women, the feminisation of poverty, unequal international economic relationships, etc. Solutions vary, depending on how the problem is defined, that is to say, what is seen as the problem that needs to be solved. For example, if the problem is viewed as a human rights or labour problem, then other solutions will be drafted than if trafficking is seen as a problem of organised crime, illegal migration or of sex work in itself.


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