Resource: Trafficking debate Web Site

New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

Salamon Alapitvany (
Sat, 23 May 1998 18:49:22 -0700

Dear List,

The following sex worker web site has posted the following question, as its
question of the month.

      " Is there a difference between prostitution and "trafficking?" There
are some organizations out there on the international scene who do work--in
many different countries--which tries to address the problem of sexual
slavery and the traficking of women and children for sex tourism. While
many of them recognize a difference between voluntary and involuntary sex
work, there are plenty who don't. To get to the point, our real question
is, can someone choose to be a sex worker? And if they emigrate in order to
be a sex worker somewhere else, are they being trafficked ?"

The URL is

or email any contribution to :

I have have reposted a couple of contributions from the debate to our list,
and it would seem a useful resource.

Best regards

John Davies

Salamon Alapitvany and IldikoK Memorial Civil Rights Institute
Working for Peace and Equitable Justice for all Marginalised People
Seeking to include Sex Workers within Civil Society without descrimination
Believing in Change through Consensus not Repression.
From Fri May 22 10:07:24 1998
Received: from ( [])
        by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with ESMTP id KAA23805
        for <stop-traffic@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU>; Fri, 22 May 1998 10:07:23 -0400 (EDT)
Received: (from Received: (from mailgate@localhost)
        by (8.8.6/8.8.6/2.10) id KAA12790
        for stop-traffic@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU; Fri, 22 May 1998 10:12:10 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 10:11:42 -0400
From: Ann Jordan <>
Subject: Comment: The Media & List Etiquette
Sender: Ann Jordan <>
To: "INTERNET:stop-traffic@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU" <stop-traffic@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU>
Message-ID: <>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Disposition: inline
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by id KAA23805

i agree with john about the propriety of having the list completely open
and available to members of the media. my experience has been, on other
lists, that the media join lists to seek out stories and sources. i have
been burned once [on another list] and have seen open lists fall apart and
so, quite frankly, am not inclined to speak openly on stop-trafficking or
any other list any more. i have become a lurker and now contact people
directly unless the subject is so innocuous that i do not hesitate to post.

as for keeping messages within the list. as none of us know who is on the
list and anyone can join, it is essentially open to the world and so, to my
mind, it makes no difference whether people forward messages because those
recipients can simply join if they want to participate/lurk. however,
netiquette does require seeking the permission of the writer before
forwarding any messages. perhaps, john and others can simply type in bold
letters at the top of their message: NOT FOR FORWARDING, CIRCULATION OR

ann jordan
From Fri May 22 05:35:22 1998
Received: from ( [])
        by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id FAA10716
        for <>; Fri, 22 May 1998 05:35:19 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
Received: from csilla [] by with ESMTP
  (SMTPD32-4.04) id A774A6A005C; Fri, 22 May 1998 11:37:56 +0100
From: "Salamon Alapitvany" <>
To: "stop-traffic" <>
Subject: List Facilitators
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 11:34:23 -0700
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Priority: 3
X-Mailer: Microsoft Internet Mail 4.70.1155
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Dear List,

Please note that I am not a list facilitator and I can't subscribe or
unsubcribe anyone to the list.

Furthermore I can't decide list policy or dictate new rules or obligations
to other members.

If you need to contact a list facilitator please write to Jyothi at

Best regards


Salamon Alapitvany and IldikoK Memorial Civil Rights Institute
Working for Peace and Equitable Justice for all Marginalised People
Seeking to include Sex Workers within Civil Society without descrimination
Believing in Change through Consensus not Repression.
From Fri May 22 12:29:38 1998
Received: from ( [])
        by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id MAA01642
        for <>; Fri, 22 May 1998 12:29:36 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
Received: from csilla [] by with ESMTP
  (SMTPD32-4.04) id A88D46903A0; Fri, 22 May 1998 18:32:13 +0100
From: "Salamon Alapitvany" <>
To: "stop-traffic" <>
Subject: Comment: Trafficking
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 18:27:18 -0700
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Priority: 3
X-Mailer: Microsoft Internet Mail 4.70.1155
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Dear List,

I am re-posting with the author's consent the following message from
another list whose "question of the month" is about whether it is possible
to consent to be a sex worker, and if such a worker emigrates for work are
they being trafficked ?

Question of the month.

The question of the month is in fact a question of the last month (slaves
or prostitutes) and a question of a century ago, when the confusion of
trafficking and prostitution began. Trafficking is in my view a specific
form of organized crime in which the wish and need for emancipation and
migration of sexworkers and non-sexworkers is exploited. Trafficking
networks bring and keep a man or woman in prostitution under conditions of
force and or violence, by restricting freedom of movement, forceful labour
conditions and little or no agency.
Some ten years ago the issue appeared to be whether women knew they were
recruited for prostitution or not. In other words, only innocent victims
could claim the status of victim of traffic. Nowadays we consider all
persons trafficked who are exploited as a result of deception as to the
nature of the work AND/OR the conditions of the work. Force and
(economical) exploitation are at the core of the trafficking problem. So,
only a proportion of migrant women are trafficked, not all of them. But
Dutch police and policy makers, like in other countries where the issue is
hype, tend to equate migration for prostitution with trafficking in women.
Hence the most widely proposed measure is to stop women (and male
sexworkers) from migrating. Prevention of traffic is usually identified
with giving women information about the risks they run when they decide to
migrate. That is an easy way out for governments who don't do anything
about exploitative conditions in prostitution that traffickers avail
themselves of. For example, quite a few women from the former Eastern
EUropean countries work in the netherlands because they wanted to flee from
the mafia controlled workingplaces in their own country. You can warn them
for the risks of being illegal and deported as much as you want, but most
sexworkers would prefer an undocumented stay in the (former) western
European countries over working in their own country, even though the
prices in western countries are no worse than in most Central European
countries. . Governments and police in Central and Eastern European
countries are quite happy with the warning activities. They don't have to
make a policy themselves. Instead they move to criminalize the women. But
the only way to do something about trafficking is to give sexworkers in the
sending countries an organization of their own in which they can empower
themselves against all those waiting to take advantage of the situation.

The warning activities became a hype at the turn of the nineteenth century
when trafficking appeared to be rife. Ladies Organizations started to hang
out on small and large railway stations and harbours to monitor arriving
women and girls. If a girl arrived with a man, they were taken apart, after
all he might be a trafficker. Measures were taken on the great sealines to
protect travelling women. We owe these protectors the institution of
separate bunks for men and women. Notably the great advocate of safe
travelling took a decent bunk on the maiden voyage of a boat called the
Titanic. He was soon to find out that the dangers of sailing didn't just
consist of contacts with the opposite sex. As a result of all this
protecting and this odd way of prevention of traffic, sexworkers are still
restrected in their freedom of movement by for instance special stamps in
their passports. But even at the turn of this century, this approach sneaks
in again. In recent documents on traffick from the European Committee, the
policy makers in Brussels didn't turn a wink when they proclaimed to
protect 'potential victims of traffic in women'. And who are potential
victims of traffic in women in women? Exactly, women who want to go out to
work in their own country or across the borders. So, according to our
future European federal government every emancipated woman who wants a job
is a potential victim of traffic. That brings us back the old days of the
fifties of the century, when au pair girls were warned with urban legends
about bad (black) men who wanted to sell them to harems in Pan-Arabia.
For all this confusion, there are some people who want to drop the notion
of traffic altogether.

S.M. Altink (Holland)

Salamon Alapitvany and IldikoK Memorial Civil Rights Institute
Working for Peace and Equitable Justice for all Marginalised People
Seeking to include Sex Workers within Civil Society without descrimination
Believing in Change through Consensus not Repression.
From Fri May 22 04:10:21 1998
Received: from ( [])
        by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id EAA06816
        for <>; Fri, 22 May 1998 04:10:18 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
Received: from csilla [] by with ESMTP
  (SMTPD32-4.04) id A38634C00DC; Fri, 22 May 1998 10:12:54 +0100
From: "Salamon Alapitvany" <>
To: "stop-traffic" <>
Subject: Comment:Criminalisation increasing risks for Trafficked women ?
Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 10:09:10 -0700
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Priority: 3
X-Mailer: Microsoft Internet Mail 4.70.1155
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

Dear List,

The following is an address to the Swedish parliament regarding a proposed
law to criminalise the clients of sex workers.

My concern is that increased criminalisation of any type makes open and
successful engagement with sex workers more difficult and as such
"trafficked" women can more easily be hidden and controlled inside such a
closed environment.

The ability to successfully control a "trafficked" person makes trafficking
more attractive as an option. Any legislation that sustains the need for
the operation of clandestine and secret sex work plays to the advantage of
the serious and professional criminal.

Best regards

John Davies

Prostitution - Bill to criminalize clients of sexworkers, which will be
voted on in the Swedish Parliament on May 28th,1998

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our organization "HWG e.V." is a sexworkers┤ self-help-group and a
sexworkers' rights lobbying organization, which operates nationally as well
as internationally has a very good international reputation. Our expertise
includes sexwork, sexworkers' rights, all forms of (sexualised) violence
against sexworkers (male, female, intersexual and transgender),
decriminalization of sexwork(ers), recognition of sexwork as a
profession/as work/ as a service, legalization of sexwork, and human/civil
rights violations against sexworkers on the ground of our profession.

We call on you because on May 28th 1998 you will be voting on a bill in the
Swedish Parliament which will extremely worsen the already severe
conditions of sexworkers in Sweden in regard to their workers and human
rights. We know that sexworkers in Sweden are even more stigmatized and
already criminalized than in any other EU country and are facing even worse
living and working conditions than sexworkers in clearly abolitionistic
countries. Your proposal to criminalize sexworkers' clients will not only
financially but socially result in more criminalization, discrimination and
stigmatization of a basically female group of workers and
employers/self-employed sexworkers.

Your intended Bill will result in the following: Your new law will drive
the core groups in the sexindustry underground. Sexworkers and clients must
meet covertly. This does not only minimises the time available to the
individual sexworker to negotiate safe sex, but it will also endanger
sexworkers lives. While passing a strongly discriminating bill you are
publicly and officially calling for human rights' violations. As a result
of your intended policy sexworkers will definitely face more sexualised
violence, because they will on these legal grounds not ask for help from
third parties (police, womens' shelters). As we have shown effectively by
publishing our "HOTLINE- pre-warning system for streetwalking sexworkers
against violent clients" within the last 5 years, sexualised violence is a
result of de-professionalization of sexworkers. You are of course
de-professionalising sexworkers with this bill.

Your bill will worsen the working- and living-conditions of sexworkers and
will definitely not hinder any client to ask for sexual services from
professional sexworkers. You are supporting nearly every source for the
exploitation of sexworkers by driving them undercover.

You are on purpose and without even discussing this policy with national
and migrant sexworkers in Sweden excluding and punishing a group of
professionals that needs all the solidarity and empowernment in order to
achieve human and civil rights.

We, as sexworkers, ask you to conced human and civil rights to all
women/sexworkers and consequently vote against the bill on work on the
decriminalization of sexwork in Sweden in order to improve their economic
and social conditions.

It is not tolerable and against human rights to marginalise sexworkers by
passing certain laws. If governments/societies punishes the clients of
sexworkers one will simply achieve that sexwork will take place in areas
and under very dangerous circumstances which will put especially women in
even more danger.


Christine Dr÷▀ler
Managing director/Social Scientist
HWG e.V.
21st May

HWG e.V. - Sexworkers self - help and lobbying organization
Karlsruher Str. 5
FRG- 60329 Frankfurt a.M. e-mail:

Salamon Alapitvany and IldikoK Memorial Civil Rights Institute
Working for Peace and Equitable Justice for all Marginalised People
Seeking to include Sex Workers within Civil Society without descrimination
Believing in Change through Consensus not Repression.
From Sat May 23 05:09:08 1998
Received: from ( [])
        by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with ESMTP id FAA19833
        for <>; Sat, 23 May 1998 05:09:08 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from kosei ( [])
        by (8.8.8/8.8.5) with SMTP id FAA17753;
        Sat, 23 May 1998 05:14:04 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 05:16:26 -0400
X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.01 (Win95; I)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Dear friends,

Your help is needed...

1998 marks the centennial of US colonization of the Philippines. On
June 12-14, GABRIELA Network will sponsor STOP 100 YEARS OF SERVITUDE, a
regional conference, at Hunter College in New York City, to examine the
historical and current ramifications of the US invasion of the
Philippines in 1898.

We need your help in making this Conference very special and significant
by participating and/or getting the word out about the event. If you
haven't already, we invite you to register now. In addition, please
help us by:
1. announcing the Conference via email (and other media)
2. distributing the Conference flyer
3. endorsing the event (please reply by May 31)

A centennial only comes once. We only have one chance, therefore, to
make a centennial event meaningful. Your help will certainly help us do

Thank you.


------- conference info starts here -------

[please feel free to distribute/announce. thank you.]

You're Invited...

in cooperation with the
Centro de Estudios Puertorriquenos


A Conference Marking the Centennial of
US Colonization of the Philippines

12-14 June (Friday-Sunday) 1998
Hunter College, West Building, 6th floor
(southwest corner of Lexington Ave. & 68th St.)
New York City, New York, USA

the conference aims to...

* stress the gender aspect of historical events --
the impact on women of colonization & US imperialism, and
their role in both active & subtle resistance against domination

* examine colonialism & its continuing impact

* draw parallels in the experiences of colonized peoples,
allowing for effective collective action

* educate participants & encourage activism
against imperialist policies

sliding scale registration--$25, $20, $15--until 05 June 1998
(extended; originally 23 May)
thereafter, registration is $35

space limited. register now via e-mail, phone, fax, or mail.
e-mail:; phone: 212.592.3507; fax: 718.740.4750
GABRIELA Network, PO Box 403, Times Square Sta., NY, NY 10036
for more info, contact us or visit our website:

directions to Hunter College by subway:
take IRT #6 (Lexington Ave. local) to the
68th St.-Hunter College stop


Friday, 12 June 1998
5:00-7:00 PM Registration
7:00-8:00 PM Dinner
8:00-9:00 PM Film Showing

Saturday, 13 June 1998
8:00-9:00 AM Coffee and Introductions
                -- History of GABRIELA Network & GABRIELA Philippines
                -- Welcome & House Rules
                by Carolyn Antonio and Sarah Alvarez, Coordinators
                GABRIELA Network North East
9:00-10:00 AM Keynote by Liza Largoza Maza, Secretary General,
                GABRIELA Philippines
10:00-11:00 AM Keynote by a GABRIELA Network Representative
11:00-12:00 AM Open Forum
12:00-1:00 PM Lunch
1:00-3:00 PM WORKSHOPS (6 simultaneous)
                1. Labor Export and Trafficking
                2. Globalization and the New Economic Order
                3. Women, the Migrants of the 21st Century
                4. The Adversarial Language: Third World and
                   First World Feminism
                5. Women and US Militarization
                6. History of US-Philippine Relations since 1898
3:00-3:30 PM Break
3:30-4:30 PM Report on Workshops (10 minutes per workshop)
4:30-6:30 PM WORKSHOPS (6 simultaneous)
                1. Women and Social Transformation Movement
                2. Colonialism and Women's Bodies
                3. Solidarity Work and Community Organizing
                4. Sexuality: History of Oppression & Action
                5. Sectoral and Class-Based Organizing
                6. Advocacy through Art, Media, and Cyberspace
6:30-7:30 PM Report on Workshops (10 minutes per workshop)

Sunday, 14 June 1998
9:00-10:00 AM Coffee and Free Form Discussion
10:00-11:00 AM Plenary: Colonization & Its Continuing Impact
11:00-12:00 PM Open Forum
12:00-1:00 PM Closing Ceremony


Registration Form
STOP 100 Years of Servitude
12-14 June 1998, New York City

____ Yes! I would like to register for STOP 100 Years
of Servitude.

Advance Registration until 05 June 1998 (extended):
Enclosed is (mark one) ____ $25 ____ $20 ____ $15

Late Registration: Enclosed is ____ $35

____ I am unable to attend STOP 100 Years of Servitude,
but would like to contribute $ ________.

Name: ____________________________________________________

Organization: ____________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________________



E-Mail: __________________________________________________

Tel.: ____________________________________________________

Fax: _____________________________________________________

Make check or money order payable to GABRIELA Network.
Send completed registration form and registration fee
to GABRIELA Network, PO Box 403, Times Square Station,
New York, New York 10036.
You may e-mail, phone, or fax your registration prior to
mailing your registration fee. Registration fee must be
received before 05 June 1998 (extended).

Recommended Hotels & Hostels in New York City

224 West 47th Street; (212) 756-9600
5 West 63rd Street; (212) 787-4400
$58/Single; $70/Double

Chelsea Hostel
251 West 20th Street
(212) 647-0010
$50 one or two bed with shared bathroom

Belleclaire Hotel and Hostel
250 West 77th Street
(212) 874-4500
$65/Single; $75 Double

Larchmont Hotel
27 West 11th Street
(212) 989-9333
$60-$70/Single; $85-$90/Double -- includes breakfast

Tomadachi Ryokan
129 Lexington Avenue
(212) 686-4753
$35/night per person-- 3-4 people in a room with shared bathroom

Broadway Bed & Breakfast
264 West 46th Street
(212) 997-9200
$85/Single; $105 & up/Double


A Philippine-US Women's Solidarity Organization

PO Box 403, Times Square Station
New York, New York 10036

tel.: (212) 592-3507
fax: (718) 740-4750

Advance the Militant Women's Movement in the Philippines

From Sun May 24 05:12:15 1998
Received: from ( [])
        by (8.9.0/8.9.0) with SMTP id FAA14678
        for <>; Sun, 24 May 1998 05:12:14 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
Received: from csilla [] by with ESMTP
  (SMTPD32-4.04) id A500119D0058; Sun, 24 May 1998 11:14:40 +0100
From: "Salamon Alapitvany" <>
To: "stop-traffic" <>
Subject: FOCUS-NATO: Italy slam Bosnia prostitution report
Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 11:10:55 -0700
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Priority: 3
X-Mailer: Microsoft Internet Mail 4.70.1155
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

> FOCUS-NATO, Italy slam Bosnia prostitution report
> MADRID, May 23 (Reuters) - A newspaper reported on Saturday [on a
> prostitution ring] in Bosnia run by NATO peacekeeping troops, but the
> alliance's secretary-general dismissed the allegations as groundless.
> The Spanish daily El Mundo cited unnamed sources as saying the ring,
> controlled mostly by Italian soldiers in league with a Bosnian crime
> was discovered nearly a year ago by military intelligence agents but had
> continued operating.
> The newspaper reported that girls between the ages of 12 and 14 had been
> forced into prostitution in Sarajevo for the NATO-led Stabilisation
> Northern Brigade, which is under Italian command.
> But NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, attending a meeting of the
> Atlantic Assembly in Barcelona, said he had contacted the Spanish Defence
> Ministry and was told ``everything that has been published is lacking in
> any foundation.
> ``There is not enough information to support any of these reports,''
> Solana, a former Spanish foreign minister, told reporters after
> a speech to the parliamentary wing of the North Atlantic Treaty
> Organisation.
> Carlos Westendorp, the international community's peace co-ordinator for
> Bosnia, also expressed strong doubts about the allegations of NATO
> involvement in prostitution.
> But he told Reuters at the Barcelona meeting that he could not rule it
> entirely and would ask commanders of the 34,000-strong force for any
> information they had.
> The Italian defence ministry categorically denied the reports as
> ``absolutely unfounded.''
> ``The Defence Minister cannot but condemn strongly these journalistic
> inferences, born of the most irresponsible scandal-mongering, which cast
> discredit on men who, with a great sense of duty and enormous sacrifices
> and at high risk, carry out their work so that peace and security can be
> guaranteed to that tormented country,'' it said in a statement.
> El Mundo said Javier Calderon, director of the Spanish intelligence
> CESID, received a full report last July from agents who had been sent to
> Bosnia to investigate.
> However, the defence ministry statement said that CESID had said it did
> even have an agent in Sarajevo at the time.
> The report detailed how Bosnian children, drawn into prostitution with
> threats and promises of money, were taken after dark to the brigade's
> headquarters and forced to have sex with soldiers and non-commissioned
> officers, the newspaper said.
> The document also alleged that French soldiers based in the Bosnian town
> Mostar had sold small quantities of drugs to civilians, El Mundo said.
> Most of the troops involved in the sex ring belonged to the Italian
> contingent but Portuguese and Egyptian soldiers also occasionally used
> child prostitutes, the CESID report was citing as saying.
> The girls were rarely paid more than $25 per soldier but it was a large
> compared to the low salaries in the economically troubled region, El
> reported.
> The alleged ring was also controlled by the so-called Zanyar Mafia, which
> during the Bosnian war earned substantial profits through sales of
> black-market goods, El Mundo reported.
> CESID agents learned the alleged prostitution ring began operating in
> just months after the Italian army contributed troops to the force sent
> maintain order in Bosnia under the Dayton peace accords, the newspaper
> said.
> The parents of some of the children found out what was happening and
> informed the commanding general, El Mundo cited one source as saying.
> some months, the visits by the children stopped,'' the source told the
> newspaper. ``But at the beginning of 1997, it started again.''
> 11:41 05-23-98

New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Sun May 23 1999 - 13:43:47 EDT