Re: Query re: Czech Republic and Slovakia

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La Strada CR, o.p.s. (lastrada@ecn.cz)
Mon, 28 Sep 1998 09:56:10 +100


I thought you might be interested in this:

Dear list,

we are pleased to announce, that a booklet containing documentation
from the La Strada Czech-ukrainian conference" Traffic in women in
postcommunist countries of Central and Eastern Europe" (Prague,
november 1997) has just been published.

This publication features a colletions of contributions which were
presented at the conference in Prague.

best regards,
Barbel Butterweck
Dasa Francikova
La Strada Ceska republika
From CarolLeigh@bayswan.org Sun Sep 27 19:51:40 1998
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Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 16:57:30 -0800
To: stop-traffic@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU
From: Carol Leigh <CarolLeigh@bayswan.org>
Subject: Re: Question: Web Sites on Trafficking ?-Sex Worker Rights Issues

I am submitting a survey of some issues in response to the context in which
I am mentioned in Ms. Victoria Marinelli's post which I include below:

As a survivor of STATE ABUSE in the form of criminalization, and as a
survivor of conditions of stigma and discrimination against sex workers in
most contexts, I am aware diverse perspectives of those who have
experienced abuse from various quarters. I believe strongly in the
importance of addressing issues of survivors of state abuse, as well as
abuse by individuals, 'gangs' and networks.

>Also, in addition to Carol Leigh's website (http://www.bayswan.org),
>other websites with material arguing variously for the interests of
>trafficked persons and their traffickers include the following:

>Society for Human Sexuality
>http://www.sexuality.org/ftpsite.html#workers
>(site features interviews with Carol Leigh and Ms. Leigh's interview
>with pimp Rebecca Rand, etc.)

>I've found the latter materials highly useful, if not especially
>compelling, in analyzing the pro-prostitution viewpoint.

In this context, the above material is insulting and would appreciate not
being targeted for my prostitutes' rights work. As some may know, the
prostitutes' rights movement, like the reproductive rights movement does
not self-define as pro-abortion or pro-prostitution--although some
individuals certainly are, in both contexts. Prostitutes' rights and sex
workers' rights are the terms broadly used to describe our perspectives.

Ms. Rand was not forcing women into prostitution, and if she is a 'pimp,'
and the target of your organization, then sex workers' consensual
activities are also the targets. In fact, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 27, 1997 P. B 2, the anti-prostitution activist, WHISPER Founder,
Evelina Giobbe, (who primarily targeted Rebecca and called her a pimp) was
ultimately charged with sexual harassment and sexual abuse by a former
client and survivor at WHISPER.

Actually I believe that the CATW definition of trafficking is more aligned
with most peoples' and almost all states' definitions of trafficking. This
is one of my problems with the anti-trafficking framework, that it is
inherently an excellent environment for those who seek to abolish the sex
industry. A human/civil rights approach that would support immigrants,
'trafficked' people and all sex industry workers would be to deal with the
abuses in trafficking as part of the abuses of either immigration or the
particular industrial field, whether it be domestic labor or sex industry
work. Anti- trafficking issues should be framed with in the context of
abuses in the sex industry, including the abuses of violent pimps, which I
also believe should be a priority, and which is not sufficiently addressed
in the context of anti-trafficking. So, self defined sex workers and sex
industry survivors may have something in common in response to
anti-trafficking priorities and in San Francisco we actually have been
meeting and working together to develop an agenda for services that
represents the needs of diverse women who have been part of the sex
industry.

Most participants on this list are aware of the historical dangers of
government responses to trafficking and the state abuse that results.
Anti-trafficking work can inspire anti-immigrant sentiments, and has
resulted in state actions against women, predominantly immigrants and
prostitutes.

I also believe that it is important for those who work against trafficking
to also realize that 'abusive pimps' fit into these definitions and that
trafficking is not 'something that happens somewhere else' as many U.S.
activists believe.

On the other hand, anti-pimping laws work against consensual relationships.
Prostitutes have the right to fair working conditions, however when
'pimping' (living off the earning of prostitution for third parties) is
criminalized, we are unable to have the benefits of labor regulations,
unionizing, etc. In the same way that responses to pimping have resulted
in laws that make prostitutes more vulnerable and less able to control
working conditions, so anti-trafficking laws have the same effect. (I think
trafficking and pimping are the same thing, according to most people's
definitions...although CATW and GAATW do not agree on the definitions.)
This is better explained by looking at my site
http://www.bayswan.org/Traffick.html

The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women supports decriminalization and
advocacy for health, safety and other labor regulations in the sex
industry. San Francisco dancers have begun unionizing and have made many
advances in one adult theater. GABRIELA has switched it's demand from
abolition of the mail-order bride industry to regulation of this
industry...in order to assist, empower and NOT to criminalize women.

Carol Leigh
Prostitutes' Education Network
http://www.bayswan.org/penet.html


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