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Human rights, sex work and the challenge of trafficking

Human rights, sex work and the challenge of trafficking

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Published by LGBT Asylum News
Human Rights, Sex Work and the Challenge of Trafficking is an appraisal of anti-trafficking measures from some of the people who have been most affected by them: sex workers.
Human Rights, Sex Work and the Challenge of Trafficking is an appraisal of anti-trafficking measures from some of the people who have been most affected by them: sex workers.

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: LGBT Asylum News on Dec 13, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Human rights impact assessmentof anti-trafficking policy in the UK 
 A report by the x:talk projectOctober 2010
This project was made possible through the nancialsupport of the European Commission through the Daphne
It would also not have been possible without the participationof the sex workers, support staff and sexual health serviceproviders whose experiences and opinions inform this report.The sex workers and activists who conducted the researchinterviews provided invaluable industry knowledge, contactsand expertise. We would like to thank all the staff at
 AIM forhuman rights
for their knowledge and support through outthis project. A big thank-you to Ruth and Andrea at
Scot Pep
for helping with the necessary administrative details and to
Centre for the Study of Human Rights
at LSE for the
use of meeting rooms. A nal thank-you to the
Centre for Possible Studies
for providing the x:talk project with thespace to teach, learn and to organise.
 Human rights, sex work and the challenge of trafcking
Unless otherwise noted this publication is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 UK:England & Wales License. You are free to copy, communicateand adapt this work, so long as you attribute the
 x:talk  project 
as the original author. You may not use this workfor commercial purposes. For more information see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/
This report was produced by the x:talk project and the main ndingsreect the experiences and views of people working in the sex industryin London. The x:talk project is a grassroots sex worker rights networkmade up of people working in the sex industry and allies. In addition toproviding free English classes to migrant sex workers, we support criticalinterventions around issues of migration, race, gender, sexuality andlabour, we participate in feminist and anti-racist campaigns and we areactive in the struggle for the rights of sex workers in London, the UK andglobally. The x:talk project has been developed from our experiences asworkers in the sex industry. x:talk is sex worker-led not because we thinkthat being a ‘sex worker’ is a xed identity, but because we believe thatthose who experience the material conditions of the sex industry are in thebest position to know how to change it.
This report demonstrates that for the human rights of sex workers to be protected andfor instances of trafcking to be dealt with in an effective and appropriate manner, theco-option of anti-trafcking discourse in the service of both an abolitionist approachto sex work and an anti-immigration agenda has to end. Instead there needs to bea shift at the policy, legal and administrative levels to reect an understanding thatthe women, men and transgender people engaged in commercial sexual services areengaged in a labour process. The existing focus in anti-trafcking policy on migration,law enforcement and on the sex industry does not address the needs, choices andagency of trafcked people, whether they work in the sex industry or elsewhere, andprevents migrant and non-migrant people working in the sex industry from assertingfundamental rights.

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