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Fuelling traffic : abolitionist claims of a causal nexus between legalised prostitution and trafficking

O'Brien, Erin (2011) Fuelling traffic : abolitionist claims of a causal nexus between legalised prostitution and trafficking. Crime, Law and Social Change, 56(5), pp. 547-565.

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Abstract

Over the last decade, researchers and legislators have struggled to get an accurate picture of the scale and nature of the problem of human trafficking. In the absence of reliable data, some anti-prostitution activists have asserted that a causal relationship exists between legalised prostitution and human trafficking. They claim that systems of legalised or decriminalised prostitution lead to increases in trafficking into the sex industry. This paper critically analyses attempts to substantiate this claim during the development of anti-trafficking policy in Australia and the United States. These attempts are explored within the context of persistent challenges in measuring the scale and nature of human trafficking. The efforts of abolitionist campaigners to use statistical evidence and logical argumentation are analysed, with a specific focus on the characterisation of demand for sexual services and systems of legalised prostitution as ‘pull’ factors fuelling an increase in sex trafficking. The extent to which policymakers sought to introduce evidence-based policy is also explored.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 48254
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: trafficking, prostitution, slavery, sex work, migration
DOI: 10.1007/s10611-011-9334-1
ISSN: 0925-4994
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink http://www.springerlink.com
Deposited On: 27 Jan 2012 08:02
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2012 08:09

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