Posts tagged ‘Agustín’
One of the main tasks of PLRI is to improve the evidence base on sex work. We spend a lot of time grappling with existing research to try and understand its validity and the ethics of its manufacture. Understanding research and communicating it honestly and appropriately is not always easy. Sometimes research findings can be misunderstood and sometimes they are wilfully misrepresented to support a normative position.
A lively exchange yesterday on the message boards of the Guardian, a UK newspaper, has brought some of these tensions out into the open. The article that attracted all the interest, The truth of trafficking, was featured in the print edition of the newspaper. Articles on this topic appear in the Guardian on an almost weekly basis stimulated, in part, by proposed law reform that would criminalise the clients of sex workers who are ‘controlled for another person’s gain’.
It is not unusual for online media coverage of sex work related issues to set the message boards alight. Often they attract a strange breed of commentator. It is not unusual to find legitimate comment crowded out by remarks that are irrelevant, ill informed and at worst abusive.
What is striking about the interventions made by readers in response to this article – beyond how relevant and well argued their points are – is how they centre on the use/misuse of evidence. Specifically the assertion made by the author that, ‘In Britain, it is estimated that 80% of the 80,000 women in prostitution are foreign nationals, most of whom have been trafficked.’ (more…)
There has been a great deal of media interest in sex work, immigration and trafficking in the UK in the light of UK Government proposals that paying for sex with those ‘controlled for another person’s gain’ be a criminal offence.
Laura Agustín was featured in the UK newspaper the Guardian. In an article ‘The shadowy world of sex accross borders: The government’s latest proposals for sex workers so little to tackle the problem of human trafficking’ she makes the point that;
If, as many Guardian commentators declare, you believe a British woman may prefer selling sex to her other options, then you must allow that possibility to people of other nationalities, whether they are living outside their birth countries or not. Anything else is colonialism. It’s similarly patronising to declare that they were always forced to migrate, as though they had no will, preference or ability to plan a new life.
Laura has an excellent blog ‘Border Thinking on Migration and Trafficking: Culture, Economy and Sex’ where she writes as a lifelong migrant and sometime worker in both nongovernmental and academic projects about sex, travel and work.