28/03/08

Slavery and the sex trade: more common sense.

Between the downfall of New York governor Elliot Spitzer and the renewed debates about whether the US should use PEPFAR money to strong-arm opposition to prostitution, we’ve been buzzing a bit lately about the conflation of the sex indsutry and human trafficking.

A Crime So Monstrous, a new book by Benjamin Skinner, is adding to the buzz. In an interesting interview with Salon magazine, Skinner is careful to make a distinction between slavery, human trafficking, and the sex trade.

Salon: There are philosophical differences about how to combat slavery. Some people, such as Michael Horowitz (the neocon abolitionist), have focused exclusively on sex trafficking, hoping there will be a “ripple effect” with other forms of slavery such as debt bondage and forced domestic servitude.

Skinner: Nonsense.

I haven’t read Skinner’s book yet, but it looks promising. Of course compared to a lot of the bombast out there, anything which deals with the nuances and complexities of forced labour and human trafficking would look promising. If you’re interested in this and in the New York area, there’s an interesting-looking discussion on the legal rights of sex workers, trafficked and otherwise at the City University of New York on Tuesday.

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This post was published on 28/03/08 in The sex trade.

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