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Prevention and fight against trafficking in human beings — A European Union strategy since 1996

RAPID The Press and Communication Service of the European Commission
Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Each year, at world level, hundreds of thousands of women and children are being moved across international borders by trafficking rings. The European Union has been actively engaged since 1996 in developing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach towards the prevention of and fight against trafficking in human beings. Here are a few examples of the way this strategy has been implemented over the last four years, going backwards in time.


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The European Union and its Member States generally acknowledge the positive value of international migration when it takes place in a regulated and predictable manner. They are alarmed, however, by irregular migratory movements. Indeed, in the face of the perceived threat posed by this phenomenon, States have introduced a series of measures to deter or prevent migrants from gaining unauthorised entry into their territories. The blanket enforcement of such measures makes it increasingly difficult for refugees and asylum-seekers to secure access to international protection. With this concern in mind, UNHCR must stress that the Action Plan contained in the Commission Communication on a Common Policy on Illegal Immigration and subsequently adopted by the Member States strike a proper balance between migration control priorities and refugee protection imperatives.

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This paper is a response to and analysis of the perspective of abolitionist feminists from a sex worker rights-based perspective.

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This Declaration is made by sex workers and by organisations dedicated to promoting their human rights and welfare. The Declaration lists rights that all individuals within Europe, including sex workers, enjoy under international human rights law; the Declaration then prescribes measures and recommends practices that the signatories of the Declaration believe are the minimum necessary to ensure that these rights are respected and protected. These rights must be respected and protected in the development and implementation of policies and programmes designed to address trafficking, irregular migration or terrorism.

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This article examines the public discourses invoked in United Kingdom debates about prostitution and the trafficking of women. It takes two particular debates as its focus: the kerbcrawling debates from the late 1970s to the present and the more recent trafficking debate. The authors suggest that there are three striking features about the UK discourses on prostitution: i) the absence of the sex work discourse, ii) the dominance of the public nuisance discourse in relation to kerb-crawling, and iii) the dominance of a traditional moral discourse in relation to trafficking.

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This article documents the experiences and working conditions of women who travel periodically from their countries to Istanbul to undertake sex work, and discusses the policy debates failure to address the poor living conditions of migrant sex workers by addressing abusive and restrictive immigration policies, and by decriminalising undocumented sex work.

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This report provides an overview of important issues that sex workers face in the region as well as to the political, economic, and social factors that influence policies and attitudes toward sex workers. It focuses primarily on existing laws and policies and their consequences from the perspective of HIV prevention and treatment. The report also offers recommendations designed to uphold sex workers’ human rights and remove barriers that reduce their ability or willingness to obtain access to consistent and equitable health care and other social services.

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Mentre si continuano a diffondere immagini vittimizzanti delle migranti che lavorano in Europa nell’industria del sesso, tante donne partono per propria scelta e trovano nella prostituzione e nelle altre offerte dell’industria del sesso opportunità di emancipazione o altre mete difficilmente raggiungibili in patria. *Ricerche in un luogo marginato: la geografia dell’esclusione *Le letture sui viaggi *Sradicate o mal situate? Questione di volontà e di ‘opzione’ *Il piacere dei margini *Construzioni sociali del ‘luogo’ delle prostitute *Gli ambienti come luoghi di lavoro *...