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Trafficking vs. smuggling when it happens to be sex.


The main objective is to identify differences between social and commercial networks that make migration possible through mafias. I will review how is traffic of women for sexual exploitation is conceived and fought at a UE level. Discourses on traffic are underpinned by a position on prostitution within the conceptual framework of victimisation. I shall also consider whether an autonomous migration of women for sexual work could fit under any of the UE policies and how. This is especially complex since prostitution is not regulated homogeneously throughout the EU, but common norms fight traffic and sexual exploitation of women. Therefore, a basic knowledge on distinct national legalization is needed in order to understand to what extent these policies will change the reality in different countries, or reinforce current policies. Different conceptions of prostitution will be analyzed, taking three countries as models for regulation of migrant women (The Netherlands, Spain and the UK). I will reconsider the distinction between smuggling and trafficking; this is, between networks and mafias, applied to prostitution. I will then draw a set of criteria to be considered before designing public policies or measures to fight traffic and sexual exploitation (protecting rights), but also with the aim of decriminalising all other networks, be it for sexual work or for other purposes. This also means to establish paths of access to rights for irregular migrants. My perspective has been until now mainly legal but further research on these social networks could help me establish what could be legally reasonable distinctions and appropriate policies from a board policy viewpoint. CRER is a leading European Centre in the study of immigration, ethnic relations and the establishment of support networks during the whole immigration process. CRER's experience in this field will be extremely helpful since the area of research is very sensitive and needs to be carefully analyzed, taking into account the structural and institutional framework as well as the perspective of the women involved.


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Gibbet hill road
CV4 7AL Coventry
United Kingdom

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