Handbook on Links Between Prostitution and Trafficking
Monday, November 20, 2006 9:02 AM

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) and the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) collaborated to create one document to combine their research, ideas and arguments supporting efforts to end prostitution and trafficking.  The initiative resulted in a handbook, The Links between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: A Briefing Handbook, created as a resource for NGOs or governments working on finding the links between trafficking and prostitution.  The authors used countries considering measures to legalize or regulate prostitution as their target group for study.  These include: Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Russia, Moldova, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The handbook is intended as a resource for individuals working to combat trafficking and quell the growth of the sex industry, both locally and globally. It addresses misconceptions about prostitution and argues that the demand for sex workers (legal and illegal) is driving trafficking of women and children.  The handbook also analyzes language used to describe prostitution and trafficking in an attempt to raise awareness and delegitamize the idea that women and children enter the sex industry by choice.  Instead, the authors recognize a host of factors lending to women's lack of choice in terms of sex work, including poverty, racism, cultural discrimination and overt gender inequality. 

The authors make the final call to recognize trafficking and prostitution as violence against women.  They articulate the complexities of women and children's invovlement in prostitution and trafficking, and critique traditional efforts to assist women working in the sex industry.

Compiled from The Links between Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: A Briefing Handbook, by Monica O'Connor and Grainne Healy, for the Joint Project Promoting Preventative Measures to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitation: A Swedish and United States Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisation Partnership, 2006. (PDF, 40 pages).