1st Edition

Trafficking and Sex Work Gender, Race and Public Order

Edited By Mathilde Darley Copyright 2023
    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    Set in different national contexts (Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Laos, Norway, Thailand) and in different social science disciplines, the chapters of this volume aim at questioning anti-trafficking policies and their practical impact on sex work regulation.

    Many actors, from media to researchers, from nonprofit organizations to law enforcement agencies, from "experts" to "reality tourists", contribute to produce knowledge on trafficking and sexual exploitation and thus to institutionalize it as a category of thought and action; by naming and framing perpetrators and victims, they make trafficking "come true" as a public problem. The book pays particular attention to the way the international expertise produced by these different actors and institutions on sexual exploitation and sex work impacts local control practices, especially with regard to law enforcement. The fight against trafficking as it gets institutionalized and put into practice then appears as a way to reaffirm a gendered and racialized public order.

    Building analytical bridges between different national contexts and relying on contextualized fieldwork in different countries, the book is of great interest for academics as well as for practitioners and/or activists working on sex and gender issues and migration policies. Also, it resonates with a broader literature on the construction of public problems in sociology and political science.


    Mathilde Darley

    PART I: Making Trafficking Come True: Counting, Expertising, and Classifying

    1 How to Establish the Reality of Trafficking in Women? The Selective Disqualification of Sources by the Special Body of Experts of the League of Nations (1924–1927)

    Jean-Michel Chaumont

    2 Sex Trafficking and “Reality Tourism” in Thailand: New Experts

    Elizabeth Bernstein and Elena Shih

    3 From Social Experience to Cultural Expertise: the Role of Nonprofit Organizations in Identifying Sex Trafficking Victims in France

    Mathilde Darley

    4 Negotiating the Territories of Anti-Trafficking Efforts: the “Unlikely Cooperation” Between Police Officers and Social Workers in Germany

    Julia Leser and Anne Dölemeyer

    5 “There’s No Place Like Home”: “Return Policies” for Human Trafficking Victims in Bulgaria

    Nadege Ragaru

    6 Assessing Damages for Sexual Exploitation: the Compensation of Trafficking Victims in France

    Milena Jakšić

    PART II: For the Sake of the Victims: Criminalizing Sex Work, Gendering Public Order

    7 French Abolitionism: From Eradicating Regulationism to Promoting Social Care

    Lilian Mathieu

    8 What Sex Workers Think About Victimhood, Violence, and Exploitation: Insights From a Collaborative Study Prioritizing Sex Workers’ Voices

    Hélene Le Bail and Calogero Giametta

    9 Gender Violence and Violence Against Sex Workers: Irreconcilable Perspectives

    Marylene Lieber and Elorri Harriet

    10 Policing Sex Work, Producing Gender: Gendered Division of Labor and Management of Sexual Illegalisms

    Gwénaëlle Mainsant

    11 Pimps on Trial

    Gilles Favarel-Garrigues and Lilian Mathieu

    PART III: Think Globally, Act Locally: Anti-Trafficking Policies, From Universal Humanitarian Discourse to National Border Controls

    12 Migration and Security: The Danger of Anti-Trafficking Heritage in Brazil

    Guilherme Mansur Dias

    13 Fighting Human Trafficking Away From a Human Rights Frame: the Effects of Anti-Trafficking Regimes in Brazil

    Adriana Piscitelli

    14 Trafficking Prevention for Workforce Retention Categorizing “Women at Risk” in Laos

    Estelle Miramond

    15 Red Lights for Prostitution: Policing the Purchase of Sex in Norway

    Synnove Okland Jahnsen and May-Len Skilbrei

    16 Judging Sexual Exploitation: a “Cultural” Crime?

    Mathilde Darley


    Mathilde Darley is a CNRS researcher at the CESDIP (Centre for Sociological Research on Law and Criminal Justice, France). Her research works deal with border control, migrants’ detention, police work, gender, prostitution, and human trafficking. Together with Rebecca Pates (University of Leipzig, Germany), she coordinated the ANR-DFG research project ProsCrim on trafficking in human beings in France and Germany from 2014 to 2018 (ANR-13-FRAL-0014-01). Her recent publications include "Policing and Gender in France" (with J. Gauthier, 2021); "Caring for Victims of Human Trafficking: Staging and Bridging Cultural Differences in Germany and France" (with A. Dölemeyer, 2020); "Sexe, droit et migrations. La traite des êtres humains saisie par les institutions" (2021).