Civics Citizenship

Migration, Agency and Citizenship in Sex Trafficking by R. Andrijasevic

By R. Andrijasevic

Supplying a brand new viewpoint on migration and intercourse paintings in Europe, this publication is predicated on interviews with migrant ladies within the intercourse sector. It brings jointly problems with migration, labour and political subjectivity as a way to refocus scholarly and coverage time table clear of intercourse slavery and arranged crime, in the direction of organization and citizenship.

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But me, you know, I was thinking ‘Just get me to Italy’. To everything he would say I would reply ‘Yes, yes, yes’ and hoped he would choose me for Italy. Once in Italy, I’d have taken care of it all by myself. While some degree of deception about the working conditions in sex work can be found in all respondents’ accounts, a narrow focus on whether women consented or not to prostitution hinders a comprehensive 38 Migration, Agency and Citizenship in Sex Trafficking analysis of labour arrangements in third party controlled street prostitution and in considering that some women might not be concerned about the working conditions at all, as they saw the contract with the third party merely as a means to an end.

They were less interested in the earning potential of prostitution, but used the sex work contact instead as a means of reaching Italy. A quote from Ana’s interview illustrates this situation best: He said his name was Renzo. He explained everything to me: how we are supposed to work, how much money we get – ten percent of all the money is for us – how we’ll get in trouble if we make a mistake. See, he was trying to scare us. But me, you know, I was thinking ‘Just get me to Italy’. To everything he would say I would reply ‘Yes, yes, yes’ and hoped he would choose me for Italy.

When migrant women in third party controlled street prostitution take up and assert conflicting subject positions that cannot be accommodated by the category of the VoT, we are witnessing a rupture in formal and commonly accepted conceptualisations of European citizens and women. In their multiple identifications and in enacting mobility despite restrictions imposed on the movement of third-country nationals, criminalisation of sex work and its exclusion from the free movement of labour and services, migrant women destabilise the defining features of the category of femininity and that of citizenship by illustrating the key role non-citizens play in a remaking of the public and private spheres, rearranging of the markets and labour relations and in interrupting the logic of the political rooted in the dichotomous forms of belonging.

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