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5/08/2015 - Political statements

8 reasons to stop confusing the trafficking of persons and labor exploitation with sex work

The confusion among sexual exploitation, labor exploitation and sex work creates a series of problems that come up repeatedly throughout the Latin American region. Often they are the product of ignorance and lack of knowledge, but sometimes they are deliberate.


The confusion between trafficking of persons for sexual exploitation, labor exploitation and sex work is present across different political and social spaces and very noticeably so in the media, and has led to a range of outcomes from wrong opinions to legal instruments that fail to put an end to the scourge of trafficking while at the same time encourage stigmatization against sex workers.

This confusion has negative outcomes. It DOES NOT contribute to our struggle to see our human rights respected. And it also DOES NOT help fight trafficking, or dismantle the existing logics of exploitation and impunity networks.

The confusion among these three notions creates a series of problems that come up repeatedly throughout the Latin American region. Often they are the product of ignorance and lack of knowledge, but sometimes they are deliberate: invoking the fight against trafficking, social, legal and political actors benefit from public policies while FAILING to stop the system of trafficking, improve our conditions of work or put an end to situations of exploitation.

In this document we elaborate on 8 negative consequences brought about by the confusion between Sex Work, Labor Exploitation, and Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Exploitation.

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