Disourse on prostitution and human trafficking in the context of UEFA EURO 2012 (Executive Summary)

Martina Schuster, Almut Sülzle, Agnieszka Zimowska
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Academic study of discourse and campaigns in the run-up to the 2012 European Football Championship finals as the basis for advising decision-makers. (Executive Summary)

This study focuses on the themes of sex work and human trafficking in the UEFA EURO 2012 host countries, Poland and Ukraine. It is based on media analysis, expert interviews in both countries and analysis of previous major football events. In the study, sex work or prostitution is understood as being a service, whereas human trafficking is a violation of human rights. When the two phenomena are mixed together, the debate does not accurately reflect the role of either the protagonists or the victims.

Recommended actions include:

  • Since there is no proven connection between major sports events and human trafficking, prostitution and sex tourism, we recommend that UEFA EURO 2012 should not be publicly linked with these themes.
  • Experts from non-governmental organisations should receive (financial) support to help them deal seriously with the themes of prostitution and human trafficking in the media in the run-up to UEFA EURO 2012. They must be able to react to a media onslaught in order to ensure that sex work is not confused with human trafficking and that football events are not linked to human rights violations.
  • The physical safety of sex workers will be threatened if they are forced into dangerous peripheral areas by city- centre cleaning-up operations designed to separate fan miles for tourists from existing red light districts. This should be deliberately avoided.
  • With the help of a sociological study on the composition of fan groups at major international football events, it is possible to counteract the image of football fans as hooligans or potential clients of prostitutes. Simple statistics concerning age, profession and gender can show that they actually represent a diverse, mixed-gender, international fan community.

You can download this 3 page PDF document above.  Or see the full report here.

This resource is in English.