Have you signed the letter to stop arrests of sex workers during the Olympics?

Olympics Sex Workers

Now you can sign up by clicking a button on the website for Stop the Arrests, either as a group (best, if you can do it) or as an individual. Here’s the list of those who’ve signed so far. You can be located anywhere in the world, but if you are a UK group it’s really important your name is there! The letter will go to Mayor Boris Johnson soon. I discussed this campaign a while back, including a list of all the laws that criminalise sex workers in England and Wales.

One menu tab on the site is called Evidence, and it says:

No research has proved an increase in human trafficking caused by large sporting events.

Three research projects have been conducted specifically to assess cases of trafficking associated with major sporting events after those events were over.

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.

South Africa: 2010 World Cup

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.

Other major sporting events have been speculated about: the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and several US Super Bowls. A report from GAATW (the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women) gathers together existing data. Many other reports deconstruct and debunk the idea that trafficking increases when major sporting events take place, but only the two on Germany and one on South Africa contain data gathered in the relevant places, after the events.

This campaign was initiated by x:talk (I am a member).

Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist

2 thoughts on “Have you signed the letter to stop arrests of sex workers during the Olympics?

  1. Andria E-Mordaunt

    Arresting people, mostly women, who sell sex is one of the many great hypocrisies of humanity and is also cruel, as it is almost always the impoverished sex-workers who are punished most harshly, Or Women who suffer from chemical dependency
    Whether we like it or not, sex work exists and our job as intelligent compassionate and responsible human beings is to make their working environment safe so that women cannot just be murdered as was the case in Ipswich not so long ago, not to mention the Pig Farmer in Canada’s BC
    Thank U

    Reply
  2. Pingback: El Lobby Europeo de Mujeres miente acerca de la trata, la prostitución y los eventos deportivos | El estante de la Citi

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