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Trafficking — a Demand Led Problem?


Anderson, Bridget, and Julia O’Connell Davidson. 2003. Trafficking — a Demand Led Problem?. 15. IOM Migration Research Series. Geneva: International Organization for Migration.

Authors: Bridget Anderson, Julia O’Connell Davidson


The 2001 ASEM Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children stressed the need to encourage research on the demand for the most common forms of exploitation of trafficked women and children, in particular for commercial sex services, and recommended a multi-country study into the demand side of trafficking as one of its follow-up actions.

In response to this recommendation, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SLDA and Save the Children Sweden, commissioned this pilot research study on the demand underlying two sectors where labour/services of trafficked persons are known to be subject to exploitation: prostitution and domestic work. This report sets out some of the findings of the pilot study and ongoing research concerning employer demand for domestic workers in private households, and consumer demand for commercial sexual services in selected European and Asian countries.

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Households, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Southern Europe Countries: India, Italy, Sweden, Thailand

Year: 2003

Treading along a Treacherous Trail: Research on Trafficking in Persons in South Asia


Ali, A.K.M. Masud. 2005. “Treading along a Treacherous Trail: Research on Trafficking in Persons in South Asia.” International Migration 43 (1/2): 141–64.

Author: A.K.M. Masud Ali


This paper presents an overview of research on trafficking in persons in South Asia. The trend of trafficking is on the rise, but the existing knowledge base is inadequate for a full understanding of the phenomenon at the regional level. The paper is based on secondary data and analysis of existing literature on trafficking in South Asia.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2005

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeeping Operations in Contemporary Africa


Utas, Mats, and Fanny Ruden. 2009. Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeeping Operations in Contemporary Africa. 2. Uppsala, SE: The Nordic Africa Institute.

Authors: Fanny Ruden, Mats Utas


In international peacekeeping operations (PKOs) some individuals are involved in sexual exploitation and abuse of the host country’s population, buying of sexual services and trafficking of prostitutes. Far from being a new phenomenon it goes back a long time, and reports on the issue have increased over the years. All too frequently we read about peacekeepers visiting prostitutes, committing rape, or in other ways sexually exploiting host populations. Some peacekeepers are taking advantage of the power their work gives them, and becoming abusers rather than protectors in situations where the host population is powerless and in dire need of protection. Peacekeepers’ abuse of their mandate is inflicting severe damage on host societies and often results in a number of unintended consequences such as human rights violations, rapid spread of HIV, decreased trust in the UN as well as other international aid agencies, and harmful changes to gender patterns. Women and children, both girls and boys, are especially exposed. Having already suffered from war and instability they risk becoming even more physically and mentally wounded. Peacekeeping operations risk doing more harm than good in African war zones, and if they cannot learn from previous mistakes maybe they ought to stay at home. We do not argue for the latter; rather, we point towards the urgent need to change explicit and implicit patterns and habits in international peacekeeping operations in relation to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) in Africa. In this Policy Note we focus predominantly on military staff, but acknowledge that the civilian staff of PKOs, and international aid workers, are also implicated. On the other hand it should initially be pointed out that most PKO staff are not sexual exploiters and abusers.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Peacekeeping, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa

Year: 2009

Peacekeeping and Prostitution in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo


Harrington, Carol. 2003. “Peacekeeping and Prostitution in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.” Paper presented at the 5th European Feminist Research Conference, Lund, August 20-23.

Author: Carol Harrington


This paper compares the organisation of sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo during UN operations to the sexual violence associated with US military bases in the Republic of Korea (ROK) during the 1970s, while also drawing some comparisons with the way sexual violence was organised in wartime Yugoslavia. I argue that in all of these cases military men agree that soldiers are entitled to heterosexual encounters, and thus provide women for soldiers to have sex with, treating the women concerned as people whose well- being, dignity and bodily integrity is of no relevance at all. Such sexual violence appears to be institutionalised across contemporary militaries. However, the political logic that categorises women as people to be protected or as people who have no rights to bodily integrity differs across sites. My enquiry is based in a sociology of the body that treats sexual violence as political violence, thus I expect that the sexual categorisation and organisation of women for soldiers will reveal important aspects of the political order the militaries involved are defending. I will elaborate on this theoretical perspective in relation to the three cases in the course of my discussion. Through comparing these three military contexts I seek to understand how military thinkers in the case of Bosnia and Kosovo divided people in relation to physical security and rights to bodily integrity, and thus to uncover the logic of the political order these peacekeeping operations defended. (Intro)

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Violence Regions: Asia, East Asia, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Korea, South Korea

Year: 2003

UN Peacekeeping Economies and Local Sex Industries: Connections and Implications


Jennings, Kathleen M., and Vesna Nikolić-Ristanović. 2009. “UN Peacekeeping Economies and Local Sex Industries: Connections and Implications.” MICROCON Working Paper 17, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton.

Authors: Kathleen M. Jennings, Vesna Nikolić-Ristanović


“Peacekeeping economies” have not been subject to much analysis of either their economic or socio-cultural and political impacts. This paper uses a gendered lens to explore some ramifications and lasting implications of peacekeeping economies, drawing on examples from four post-conflict countries with past or ongoing United Nations peacekeeping missions: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liberia, and Haiti. The paper is particularly concerned with the interplay between the peacekeeping economy and the sex industry. It examines some of the characteristics and impacts of peacekeeping economies, arguing that these are highly gendered – but that the “normalization” of peacekeeping economies allows these effects to be overlooked or obscured. It also contends that these gendered characteristics and impacts have (or are likely have) broad and lasting consequences. Finally, the paper considers the initial impacts of UN efforts to tackle negative impacts of peacekeeping economies, particularly the zero-tolerance policy against sexual exploitation and the effort to “mainstream” gender and promote gender equality in and through peacekeeping. The paper suggests that the existence and potential long- term perpetuation of a highly gendered peacekeeping economy threatens to undermine the gender goals and objectives that are a component of most peace operations. 

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia

Year: 2009

Meeting the Challenges of Displaced African Women


Zammit, Marie Anne. 2012. “Meeting the Challenges of Displaced African Women.” Women in Action on Women in Peacebuilding: 19-24. 

Author: Marie Anne Zammit


The article is about displaced women, particularly African women who are still facing situations of armed conflict and subjected to sexual violence. Those who have attempted to escape mostly end up being displaced. This puts them in a more vulnerable spot and subjected to more violence during the flight out of the country where the women are attacked by smugglers and are trafficked. Displaced women are excluded from mainstream society without access to basic services and excluded from the Justice System. United Nations Resolution 1325, a major policy milestone in the lives of women in conflict situation, urges women to participate in peace negotiations. This was followed by resolution 1820 in 2009 which has contributed to the incorporation of women's rights and eliminating gender-based violence against women and girls during and after armed conflict. Women, particularly displaced women need to be engaged in decision making and be provided with social support, training and empowerment support and access to legal systems.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, Sexual Violence, Trafficking Regions: Africa

Year: 2012

Human Trafficking, Labor Brokering, and Mining in Southern Africa: Responding to a Decentralized and Hidden Public Health Disaster


Steele, Sarah. 2013. “Human Trafficking, Labor Brokering, and Mining in Southern Africa: Responding to a Decentralized and Hidden Public Health Disaster.” International Journal of Health Services 43 (4): 665–80. doi:10.2190/HS.43.4.e.

Author: Sarah Steele


Many southern African economies are dependent on the extractive industries. These industries rely on low-cost labor, often supplied by migrants, typically acquired through labor brokers. Very little attention has so far been paid to trafficking of men into extractive industries or its connection with trafficked women in the region’s mining hubs. Recent reports suggest that labor brokering practices foster human trafficking, both by exposing migrant men to lack of pay and exploitative conditions and by creating male migratory patterns that generate demand for sex workers and associated trafficking of women and girls. While trafficking in persons violates human rights, and thus remains a priority issue globally, there is little or no evidence of an effective political response to mine-related trafficking in southern Africa. This article concludes with recommendations for legal and policy interventions, as well as an enhanced public health response, which if implemented would help reduce human trafficking toward mining sites.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Health, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Rights, Human Rights, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa, Southern Africa

Year: 2013

Trafficking, Trade, and Migration: Mapping Human Trafficking in the Mekong Region


Feingold, David A. 2012. “Trafficking, Trade, and Migration: Mapping Human Trafficking in the Mekong Region.” In An Atlas of Trafficking in Southeast Asia the Illegal Trade in Arms, Drugs, People, Counterfeit Goods and Natural Resources in Mainland Southeast Asia, edited by Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy. London: I.B. Tauris.

Author: David A. Feingold

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2012

‘Settled in Mobility’: Engendering Post-Wall Migration in Europe


Morokvasic, Mirjana. 2004. “‘Settled in Mobility’: Engendering Post-Wall Migration in Europe.” Feminist Review 77 (1): 7–25.

Author: Mirjana Morokvasic


`The end of the bi-polar world and the collapse of communist regimes triggered an unprecedented mobility of people and heralded a new phase in European migrations. Eastern Europeans were not only 'free to leave' to the West but more exactly 'free to leave and to come back'. In this text I will focus on gendered transnational, cross-border practices and capabilities of Central and Eastern Europeans on the move, who use their spatial mobility to adapt to the new context of post-communist transition. We are dealing here with practices that are very different from those which the literature on 'immigrant transnationalism' is mostly about. Rather than relying on transnational networking for improving their condition in the country of their settlement, they tend to 'settle within mobility,' staying mobile 'as long as they can' in order to improve or maintain the quality of life at home. Their experience of migration thus becomes their lifestyle, their leaving home and going away, paradoxically, a strategy of staying at home, and, thus, an alternative to what migration is usually considered to be - emigration / immigration. Access to and management of mobility is gendered and dependent on institutional context. Mobility as a strategy can be empowering, a resource, a tool for social innovation and agency and an important dimension of social capital - if under the migrants' own control. However, mobility may reflect increased dependencies, proliferation of precarious jobs and, as in the case of trafficking in women, lack of mobility and freedom.



“Mobility and the capacity to be mobile play an important part in the strategies of these migrants. Rather than trying to immigrate and settle in the target country, migrants tend to 'settle within mobility,' staying mobile 'as long as they can' in order to improve or maintain the quality of life at home.” (11)

“Thus, although the cross-border trading trips engage both men and women, their functioning relies on unquestioned gender relationships and hierarchies which assign to women and men different expectations and positions, to the point that every younger good-looking woman on the 'Polish market' or in the train is considered as a potential prostitute.” (15)

“Besides enabling women a transnational, double presence, combining life 'here' and 'there', the rotation system yields other opportunities for agency. First, women avoid being captured in an institutionalized form of dependency vis-d vis a single employer, which is the case with live-in maids, for instance… Third, in the sector where upward mobility is impossible, and where most of the East European women are de-classed and de-skilled, the experience in a rotation system can be a stepping stone to setting up a business, that is, one's own rotation group, using established local connections and building up a new network.” (17)

“Trafficked women are coerced into a totally dependent status vis-a-vis the trafficker or their employer who usually confiscates their passports and their return tickets. This makes independent mobility impossible and leaves them at the mercy of a rotation scheme across European borders, being transferred from one city to another at intervals within the limits of their three-month tourist visas. The three- month limit means that women are unable to establish long-term connections with the outside world.” (18)

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe

Year: 2004

Understanding and Improving Law Enforcement Responses to Human Trafficking: Final Report


Farrell, Amy, Jack McDevitt, Stephanie Fahy, Scott Decker, Vince Webb, and Nikos Passas. 2008. Understanding and Improving Law Enforcement Responses to Human Trafficking: Final Report. Boston: Northeastern University: Institute on Race and Justice.

Authors: Amy Farrell, Jack McDevitt, Stephanie Fahy, Scott Decker, Vince Webb, Nikos Passas

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Globalization, Health, International Law, International Human Rights, International Organizations, NGOs, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2008


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