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Other facts from the report reveal that the majority of women who were trafficked to Sweden in 2009 came from eastern Europe, Russia, Estonia, Romania, Hungary and Albania.
Most of the traffickers were men, but some were women, coming from Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Sweden, Estonia, Nigeria and Thailand.
There were also examples in which the traffickers exploited the victims for several purposes. In one case, two Czech women were trafficked to Sweden to steal during the day and prostitute in the evenings and nights.
An Exotic Escort's Diary..
The Truth About Selling Sex.
Tagged with Prostitution Laws in Sweden.
Justice For All? The use of Law and the Hypocrisy of Feminist Stances Towards Prostitution Laws.
How do government laws affect the lives of prostitutes? Below is an old essay I wrote regarding prostitution laws in today’s Modern nation-state world:
It is hard to imagine reading a paper or watching the news without hearing about some excerpt about prostitution and laws surrounding. After all, prostitution has historically been a popular and controversial issue in many societies. Defining prostitution is difficult because of the various interpretations of its meaning. According to the World Health Organization, prostitution is, “ a process that involves a transaction between a seller and a buyer of a sexual service .” On the other hand, the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS has a more complex interpretation of prostitution: “Sex work may be formal or informal,” and then continue to explain that, “Commercial sex work may be conducted in formally organized settings from sites such as brothels, night clubs, and massage parlors; or more informally by commercial sex workers who are street-based or self-employed.” The complexity of prostitution helps explain why it’s an issue that evokes multiple opinions. In the modern nation-state, prostitution has become a social ‘issue’ that is regulated or prohibited by law. For instance, prostitution may be illegal, legal, or decriminalized . For social and cultural academics, it is important to make the sense of laws and the society. Therefore, one can use different theoretical frameworks, such as feminism or bio-politics, to explain the prostitution phenomena. In this essay, I will look at certain feminist influences on prostitution laws, and it’s implications. I will then analyze those feminist trends in prostitution laws through the lens of biopower. The two popular feminist stances have been either to tolerate prostitution by regulating it or to abolish prostitution by criminalizing it. Overall, prostitution laws result in the further marginalization of prostitutes despite being back by some feminist groups. Prostitution laws, instead, maintains neoliberal state interests while ignoring the true feminist aim of female empowerment.
Biopower is a term that was coined by Michel Foucault , which inspired a new theoretical frame to academic thought. For Foucault, biopower is the ‘”regulatory power of states over populations,” which thus produces, “docile bodies in everyday life of institutions.” In other words, Foucault tried to emphasize that the body is a way to understand a society and how power is used to control their lifestyles. Lifestyles of individuals and their self-care practices are influenced by an overarching power. Giorgio Agamben further elaborated Foucault’s theory. In Agamben’s view, the sovereign power constructs ideals for citizenship where certain lifestyles amount to a ‘qualified life.’ However, individuals who contrast from the ‘ideal’ are living a ‘bare life,’ and thus are excluded in various ways, such as marginalization or facing violence. Therefore, the marginalized groups in society are only marginalized because state power determines who can be included in the society and who cannot. In “What’s Law Got to Do with it? How and Why Law Matters in the Regulation of Sex Work,” Jane Scoular notes that prostitutes are part of the ‘bare life,’ where they are marginalized due to not being ‘ideal’ citizens. To understand biopower, it is important to know who is an ‘ideal’ citizen and answer: what is the purpose of including some while excluding others?
In modern nation-states in the West, a ‘qualified’ life relates to neoliberal ideals. Neoliberalism is a shift in political, economic and ideological policy that began in the 1980’s (Yang, 2013), which currently dominates many governments globally. Economically, it is a policy of free-markets with minimal government interventions. Politically, it is the diffusion of government into smaller institutions. The notion of ‘freedom’ and individualism is the ideology behind neoliberalism, where individual freedom is achieved only through free markets. Yet the hidden element is that neoliberal policies seek to maintain the power of economic elites, and, it’s a “political project to re-establish the conditions of capital accumulation.” Neoliberalism, according to Scoular, is the main idea behind a ‘qualified’ life in Agamben terms. She notes, “modern law operates to regulate the complete lives of individuals,” and thus the law influences social norms. For instance, prostitutes are marginalized due to social stigma . The stigma, as Davey and Kissil mention, is the result of laws that criminalize prostitutes . Prostitutes are criminalized because the state feels they pose a threat to their ideals. For instance, the Contagious Diseases Acts in the late 19 th century are said to criminalize prostitutes for their alleged danger to public health. Medical discourses and sciences were used to justify penalizing ‘unregulated’ persons, but in reality it was a moral panic over ‘unregulated’ sexuality. Controlled sexuality was crucial to the Modern nation-state agenda. Thus, prostitutes can only be ‘qualified’ if they satisfy the needs of neoliberal ideals, such as self-regulating themselves in a manner which results capital accumulation. The law is a way of expressing state power in an indirect way, as it influences norms, and thus influences people to maintain neoliberal interests. I will discuss how neoliberal interests are maintained through prostitution laws, but first I will discuss feminism as theory, since certain feminist have a strong stance on prostitution laws.