Paola Degani

All Unanimously Disagreed. Human Rights and Policy Issues within the European Debates on Prostitution

  • Abstract

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Since the late 1990s, there has been a growing interest for the paid sex market, that can be certainly attributable to the changes brought on by the phenomenon of migrant prostitution, where notoriously conditions of severe sexual exploitation, at times involving even trafficking cases, are extensively documented. Important reforms have taken place within national political arenas in many countries on prostitution. But even international organizations have demonstrated an unprecedented commitment to deal with the different prostitution-related themes. This was made possible due to greater legal and political space devoted to transversal issues within the sex trade. Reference to human rights as a legal and political paradigm is a common feature when looking at the policy outcomes of all the above-mentioned actors. This article focuses on examining some of the documents produced by important intergovernmental bodies in the context of international debate and policy/law making on prostitution and human trafficking. It strives to illustrate the way conceptual structures are used - in particular in resorting international human rights law - and the framework which currently defines policy orientations through process tracing analysis. This could help us understand whether a political space exists or not in order to enable alternative perspectives to emerge from the current debate.

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