Cover Osteuropa 6/2006

In Osteuropa 6/2006

White Slaves, Poor Slavs
Melodrama of Trafficking in Women

Jo Doezema

Deutsche Fassung


Representations of human trafficking in the 21st century bare an astonishing resemblance to descriptions of “white slavery” 100 years ago. The typical victim is young, naïve and pretty. She wanted a better life, was attracted, deceived and forced into prostitution. This melodramatic account often says more about the society that produces prostitution than the woman it is supposed to describe. This is shown, for example, by comparing a 1885 report by W.T. Steads about his research on white slavery in London and a 2003 report on human trafficking in Romania.

(Osteuropa 6/2006, pp. 269–284)