Cover Osteuropa 6/2006

In Osteuropa 6/2006

Men, Mediators and Migrants
The Laws of the Market Place in Human Trafficking

Julia O'Connell Davidson

Deutsche Fassung


The debate over prostitution and human trafficking is characterised by two opposing positions. For abolitionists, prostitution is the exploitation of women per se. They demand that mediators and clients be punished so as to eradicate sexual slavery and human trafficking. By contrast, their liberal and libertarian opponents consider a commodity just like any other. They hope greater social acceptance and state regulation of prostitution will lead to an improvement in working and living conditions for prostitutes. Both views fall short of the mark. Prostitution and migration can be voluntary acts of self-determination, but they can also entail force and exploitation. A policy that really has the well-being of people in mind must take aim at reducing poverty in migrants’ countries of origin and not at fighting human trafficking and legalising prostitution.

(Osteuropa 6/2006, pp. 7–20)