Accepted paper:

REVISITING NOTIONS OF SEX TRAFFICKING AND VICTIMS

Author:

Adriana Piscitelli (State University of CampinasUNICAMP)

Paper short abstract:

The principal argument is that the notions of prostitution and international human trafficking held by Brazilian sex workers clash with those found in the current public debate of these issues.

Paper long abstract:

Recent critical literature on trafficking in persons draws attention to the fact that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Portrayed Brazil in 2010 as one of the countries that export the largest number of slaves to Europe and highlights the inconsistencies of the data on which this assessment is based. These perceptions about trafficking involving Brazilian citizens were produced during the first decade of the 21st century, when European destination countries, particularly Spain, became a matter of serious concern to the Brazilian government and to NGOs. This concern was fed by multilateral supranational agencies, police actions and anti-trafficking media campaigns undertaken by the Brazilian government, and NGOs. Taking this anxiety as my point of departure, I examine in this paper the migratory processes and work experiences of Brazilian female sex workers active in Spain. It is based on ethnographic research conducted over eleven months, at different moments between November 2004 and January 2012. My principal argument is that the notions of prostitution and international human trafficking held by Brazilian sex workers clash with those found in the current public debate of these issues. Brazilian migrant sex workers' acts and beliefs defy political and cultural protocols on the national and international level, and fly in the face of the 'destiny' that Brazilian society lays out for these individuals.

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Human trafficking and female migration: the problem of an evolving humanity and emerging world