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Subject: RE: [Stop-traffic] News/UK: HELP FOR `SEX SLAVE' WOMEN TO ESCAPE PIMPS.
From: Jo Doezema (
Date: Thu Aug 03 2000 - 06:18:20 EDT

Just a little background on this story for you all-the conference the
article refers to was last month (article also dated last month). I went. It
was a one-day affair, basically it was a showcase for the new report on
trafficking, written by Liz Kelly and Linda Regan from the Women and Child
Abuse Unit at the University of North London. I and other researchers,
activists and service providers have a number of concerns about the report,
which we expressed at the conference. The most disturbing thing about the
report is that it recommends increased policing of off-street prostitution:
thus that the police have more resources to go into brothels and check the
migration status of the women there. This is current police practice in part
of London and has resulted, of course, in deportations of migrant sex
workers. Needless to say, the report does not recommend the recognition of
sex work as labour.
As yet, the 'help' organisation refered to in the article has not been set
The statistics quoted in the report and in the paper are speculative.

Anyone interested can download the report here.

If anyone would like to discuss it further with me, you can mail me


Ms. Jo Doezema
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Development Studies
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9RE
Tel: +44 (0)1273 606 261 ext. 4071
Fax: +44 (0)1273 621 202/691647

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Melanie Orhant []
> Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2000 7:43 PM
> To:
> Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/UK: HELP FOR `SEX SLAVE' WOMEN TO ESCAPE
> HUNDREDS OF women imported into Britain for a life of prostitution will be
> given help to escape their pimps under new government plans.
> Ministers are horrified at the escalating practice of trafficking women
> for
> sex, vowing to clamp down on the "ruthless" criminal gangs that carry out
> the trade.
> It is feared that up to 700 women a year are being smuggled into Britain
> to
> work in a network of "off-street" brothels in London and other major
> cities.
> This week, Home Office Minister Barbara Roche is to speak at the first
> British conference on the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation.
> She will unveil plans being considered by the Government to set up a
> special unit to provide protection for foreign women who have been brought
> to Britain, are indebted to those that brought them here and have nowhere
> else to turn. The new body, with Government backing, would work with the
> police to find trafficked women and give them the support they need.
> The Home Office is also committed to working with the authorities in other
> countries to halt the supply of women.
> The conference, at the Barbican in London on Thursday, will discuss the
> findings of a Home Office-commissioned report into the crime by academics
> at the University of North London.
> It discovered that women are being brought into Britain via ever-changing
> routes from South America, South-east Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and
> East and West Africa.
> Some are abducted, others are deceived into thinking they are coming to a
> rich Western country where they can find legitimate work or will be
> employed in entertainment, dancing or stripping. On arrival, they can find
> themselves without papers, under virtual house-arrest and in debt for
> between #5,000 and #15,000. The women see precious little of their takings
> and are effectively trapped and sometimes prevented from escaping by
> physical and sexual violence.
> Ms Roche told the Independent on Sunday last night: "It is a very worrying
> area. There are other countries which are seeing worse examples than we
> are, but it is a growing problem here and there are pretty ruthless gangs
> involved, preying on vulnerable women kept in awful conditions."
> The Minister said the Government would be working closely with the police
> to stamp out this new brand of organised crime and was in touch with the
> authorities in other countries to try to stem the tide of women being
> trafficked for sex.
> "Some of the gangs which were once involved with drugs are now turning to
> trafficking people," she said.
> The report showed that 71 women had been identified as having being
> trafficked into prostitution in the UK in 1998 but, with police approval,
> it estimated a "hidden" total of 10 times that number being trafficked
> each
> year.
> A special body to provide support for women wanting to escape exploitation
> is also under consideration. Ms Roche said: "The idea is to set up a
> special unit to cater for women that have found themselves in this
> position."
> The Minister said she was "extremely concerned" about the problem, saying
> the conference would be the first step to ensuring there was "proper
> concerted action" to tackle it.
> (c) Independent Newspapers (UK) Limited 2000. All rights reserved. This
> material may not be published, distributed or exploited in any way.
> _______________________________________________
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