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Introduction to Special Issue: Sexual Commerce and the Global Flow of Bodies, Desires, and Social Policies by Elizabeth Bernstein

In anticipation of the 2006 World Cup games in Munich, a broad international coalition of feminist and faith-based activists joined together to protest Germany’s world-renowned system of legalized prostitution. Although Germany’s system of licensed, regulated, and taxed prostitution has been regarded by some commentators as a progressive exemplar of sex workers’ rights, a diverse spectrum of antiprostitution activists were able to ignite a fervor regarding an anticipated epidemic of sex trafficking on the occasion of the World Cup, recasting the German state’s embrace of prostitution as a human rights catastrophe and rallying cause. In the antiprostitution activists’ analysis, human trafficking had little to do with the vast economic inequalities that propel individuals of all genders to migrate west and north under hazardous conditions, but was instead a manifestation of unchecked male desires run rampant—desires that, like Germany’s prostitution system itself, were badly in need of reform (see, for example, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, 2006; Lopez, 2006; “Sex Isn’t a Spectator Sport,” 2006).

Sexual Commerce and the Global Flow of Bodies, Desires, and Social Policies.

Related posts:

  1. Sex for the Middle Classes by Elizabeth Bernstein
  2. Militarized Humanitarianism Meets Carceral Feminism: The Politics of Sex, Rights, and Freedom in Contemporary Antitrafficking Campaigns by Elizabeth Bernstein
  3. HIV and Women: Incongruent Policies, Criminal Consequences by Aziza Ahmed