Patterns of prostitution, like so much else in our increasingly inter-connected world, are changing radically, as the investigations in this volume dramatically show. The question of migrant prostitutes in the West may be much debated, but it is little researched. This collection makes a radical break with the current media focus on human trafficking and the old habit of simply blaming the victim. What emerges is a nuanced and empirically grounded portrait of the complexities of prostitution across national boundaries today.
As befits a subject with such huge consequences for the lives of people, this volume includes personal testimony alongside sociological investigation. Testimony comes from both prostitutes and clients. Men are dealt with as customers; as creators of dominant European notions of sexuality, race and prostitution; and as prostitutes themselves selling services to women tourists.
The experiences of women who migrate to the West and work there as prostitutes are sensitively described. It becomes clear that their lives and aspirations are much more complicated than is usually assumed, and that easy generalizations about trafficking and forced labour do not always hold up.
Of particular interest are the volume's explorations of innovative new policies being pioneered in the Netherlands and Sweden as well as the impact of rising anti-immigrant feeling.
The authors include both scholars and activists. It is their hope that this book will raise the level of debate and contribute to a more humane approach.