The European Women’s Lobby – which should not be allowed to call themselves that – continue to use public money to further a campaign that contradicts the laws of several European states that allow people to sell and buy sexual services. This red-card nonsense is part of Together for a Europe Free From Prostitution, which overtly spreads what they themselves call abolition: true missionary endeavour, even if these missionaries look like so-called liberated western women. How do they get away with this? Is there no oversight for funding to such groups? I suppose the Germans, Dutch, Czechs et al just ignore it all, but in times of purse-tightening it is annoying that zealots are allowed to throw public money around like this. I wonder what happened to the question that was put in the European Parliament about this?
Money is the key: It has become easy to get funding nowadays to campaign against trafficking; no thinking is required; just flash your ideology like a red card. Funders then get to tick the box showing they care about trafficking, which in turn makes them look good. Never mind that the message is a lie, since there is no evidence that sex trafficking increases when big sporting events take place. Evidence is irrelevant to ideological fanatics, of course, but it shouldn’t be to Brussels technocrats. Two mega-events are cited, the London Olympics, which begin in late July, and the UEFA European Football Championship, which begins any minute now.
The text accompanying this message deliberately misinterprets that evidence, provided by relatively sound investigation and staid sources.
This year, thousands of young girls and women are at risk of trafficking and sexual exploitation to satisfy the demand for prostitution on the sidelines of the Olympic Games in London and the UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
The number of human trafficking victims in Greece increased by 95% during the 2004 Olympic Games. Ahead of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, predictions were for more than 40,000 women and children to be trafficked into the country to meet the prostitution demands of millions of football fans. During the 2011 World Cup, South African authorities noted a ‘huge’ increase in the sex trade, with the number of women and girls involved in prostitution, as well as the number of brothels, doubling.
The European Women’s Lobby has called on Members of the European Parliament to take a stand against prostitution at sporting events. Nineteen MEPs supporting the EWL campaign have been invited to gather for a group photo with the EWL red card ‘Be a sport. Keep it fair… Say NO to prostitution’.
On the sidelines of this visual event, the EWL will present an awareness-raising video clip ‘Sport, sex and fun’, as well as issue a press release and briefing about prostitution at sporting events.
The evidence, once again, is:
Germany: 2006 World Cup
- SIDA/IOM report: The first significant attempt to assess whether women were trafficked (forced) to sell sex at a major sporting event was financed by the Swedish Development Agency (SIDA) and published by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Despite predictions that 40 000 women would be trafficked, only 5 cases of trafficking were found to be linked to the World Cup. Report published in 2006.
- German government report: Subsequently, the German Federal Government produced a report for the Council of the European Union, finding no increase in cases of trafficking related to the World Cup. Report published in 2007.
Research was carried out by the Sex Work Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and the African Centre for for Migration & Society, commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This investigation included a survey of local sex workers; no cases of trafficking were found associated with the World Cup. Report published in 2010.
Note at the end of the EWL disinformation: More infotainment on the way! Forget the facts, show a naff video! The EWL can scarcely surpass their video of a male made miserable by licking the pussies of his clients, though: surely that ought to win some award.
—Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist