Thursday, July 08, 2010



Okay, I lately said that human trafficking was just a myth. That women who say they are forced are just ashamed because of the stigma and then say that they are forced while actually they liked their job and their clients a lot. Or that women who say that they are forced by their boyfriends or husbands are just jealous because he went away with another woman/prostitute and then they say he forced them, while actually that is not true, because they are just jealous.


Think ...... !

I have to rewind and read again what I wrote myself years ago. That prostitutes will NEVER EVER admit that they are coerced AT THE MOMENT that you ask them. but..... MANY say they have been coerced IN THE PAST.

The funny thing is that over the years the percentage of prostitutes who say they have been coerced in the past is dropping. So in an earlier sample the percentage was over 40% ,then it drops to 29%, then to 23% and then to 8%. And that in a time span of perhaps 20 years.

So there is human trafficking in the Netherlands. And I don't believe that all the women just lie.

Human trafficking is not a myth. Laura Agustín and Jo Doezema are wrong.

There's only no way to find out the true size because prostitutes throw up smoke screens all the time. Is the drop from 30-40% to 8% a sign that human trafficking is decreasing in the Netherlands? No, because it only pertains to group who admit they have been coerced in the past, it doesn't say anything about the total number of prostitutes who ARE coerced at that moment.

Perhaps it's true that coercion in prostiution is becoming less of a problem over the years. But these numbers I gave do prove that at least at on period in time in the Netherlands many prostitutes were affected by it.

As an explantation why a much lower percentage of prostitutes seems to have been coerced nowadays, perhaps the main cause is that men in the Netherlands seem to be visiting prostitutes far less often. It has been noticed often nowadays that there are a lower number of prostitutes in the Netherlands and that they receive a much lower number of clients. While it was not unusual for a window prostitute in the early nineties to receive between 10 and 20 clients a day, this seems to be very rare nowadays. From what I know the average number of clients a prostitute receives per day has halved. So I think there's simply much less to win for wrong-doers who want to force their girlfriend, wife or any other woman in prostitution. Why the hassle if your girlfriend only has one client a day at best, and earns only 40 Euro a day? You might as well force her to work behind a counter then. What the future will bring us I don't know. I hope the situation will further improve, but we'll never now. Perhaps that the prostitution market will improve and more men will visit prostitutes, which will also cause evil pimps to push more women in prostitution.

And ..... I also learned that I desperately need to rewire all the links on my blog, because most went dead. Actually, that's too big of a hassle, so I trust that people can use a search engine and find the reports themselves.

The text after this is from an older post, it is good to reread it:
Dutch prostitutes, drugs and labour conditions
Lets look more carefully at numbers. Numbers don’t lie (I hope). I hold the Scharlaken Koord in high regard. If they say that 87% of the Dutch prostitutes on de Wallen have been forced or manipulated into prostitution, then I believe them. There are other numbers available from different researches, they give a more broader picture of prostitutes in general, other types of prostitutes are researched. The results of these researches yield much lower percentages of the (Dutch) prostitutes who have previously been forced or manipulated into prostitution. I’ll show an example, around the same period the Scharlaken Koord made their sample on de Wallen (in 2002) Liesbeth Venicz and Ine Vanwesenbeeck researched prostitutes in the Netherlands as a whole in the report: Er gaat iets veranderen in de prostitutie (2000, Liesbeth Venicz, Ine Vanwesenbeeck) ['Something is going to change in prostitution']. Almost a quarter of the prostitutes in this research (24 of 105) indicated that they initially had been forced into prostitution (page 19). It has to be admitted though that forced prostitutes (who still worked in prostitution) didn’t want to cooperate with this interview so this estimate is probably an underestimate. They had interviewed 105 female prostitutes of whom 22 worked in window-prostitution. 62 were born in the Netherlands from Dutch parents, 17 were born in the Netherlands from foreign parents, and 26 were born abroad.
Also foreign prostitutes had been interviewed in this research, but they found no strong correlation between forced prostitution and ethnicity or being foreign (but beware that they interviewed only a small number of foreign prostitutes, the Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient was r=0,09, see table 3.4 on page 22).

Okay, when you compare the quarter of the (Dutch) prostitutes in general with the 87% of the Dutch prostitutes on de Wallen who initially had been forced in prostitution then it becomes clear that it indeed seems to be true that human trafficking is much more common among Dutch prostitutes in window-prostitution than for Dutch prostitution who don’t work in window-prostitution. But then it has to be said that I compare statistics which were acquired by different methodologies. I assume that the Scharlaken Koord also contacted Dutch women who were still under the control of their pimp, whilst in the study of Vanwesenbeeck and Venicz those prostitutes didn’t cooperate. So the quarter of these prostitutes who were initially forced into prostitution could be in reality much higher, especially if you know that according to some sources probably most Dutch prostitutes are controlled by pimps (Essy van Dijk in “mensenhandel in Nederland”). So the comparisons between these statistics aren’t very useful.

Also in other studies prostitutes had been asked if they had been (or previously had been) forced into prostitution. Two of such studies are described in "Prostitutes' well-being and risk" by Ine Vanwesenbeeck (1994). In one of these two studies, the 'protective behavior'-study, 28,9% of 127 women were previously forced (see Appendix 5.11, page 207). In this study also many foreign women were interviewed, 16% came from other Western countries and 28% from non-Western countries (table 4.1, page 68). In the other study, the "coping and well-being"-study this percentage is 43,4% (see appendix 5.9, page 206). In the latter study only a few foreign women were interviewed, 10% were foreign, 3% came from non-western countries (table 4.1, page 68). In another study the interviewed prostitutes were also asked if they were forced: see Evaluatie opheffing bordeelverbod; de sociale positie van prostituees 2006 ["evaluation lifting the ban on brothels - the social positon of prostitutes 2006"]. Of the 354 prostitutes 8% indicated they had been forced into prostitution. Could this signal a drop in forced prostitution over the years?


Anonymous said...

Anon said...

I agree. I do not believe human trafficking to be a myth, however fashionable this view seems to be becoming. Trafficking exists and pimping and coercion exist, but equally migrant (and domestic) sex workers are not essentially and universally victims in themselves. Some are and will suffer horror; some are not.
That all prostitutes are victims by definition, I believe is not correct.

I have not read anything by Jo Doezema, but Laura Agustín’s assertion that trafficking and pimping are so rare as to be of no significance, is wrong.
Agustín writes with a clarity and lucidity rare in this field, and much of what she says is believable and resonant. Her insistence that the sex industry is highly diverse, and that its entrants whether migrant or local bring their own goals and desires rather than simply being passive, is important. Her assertion that some women choose to sell sex and choose to remain in prostitution as the best option open to them, I find persuasive.
It is not an easy choice for most women to enter sex work, but an individual woman might consider it the best option as a solution to her problems. Undoubtedly, more money can be earned selling sex than most jobs open to a migrant, many of which are very low paid and also (but differently) exploitative.

Further, Agustín raises important issues and conflicts of interest in what she terms the “rescue industry”. Some organisations exploit “sex trafficking” and its impact in the media for their own abolitionist ends. This inbuilt distortion has manifested itself in a number of unbalanced reports, and in the claim that sex trafficking is a universal experience for all sex workers.
Counterbalancing these are the academic reports prepared by pro-legalisation activists, which dismiss trafficking and coercion. These reports too are often little more than tools of political lobbying. There is much conflicting evidence…

Agustín seems to see attempts to control prostitution as the repression of individualism. But individualism is a harsh process, with winners and losers. Her “caveat emptor” approach to migration seems hard indeed.

In seeking to dispel the myth of prostitute women as universal victims of circumstance and far worse, she creates her own myth of universality: that of happy, empowered self-actualising individuals who have taken control of their lives and benefited, where pimping is a thing of the past and trafficking unreal and imagined. She seems content to ignore suffering which is incompatible with this.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said !