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June 29, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm CEST
The Swedish anti-trafficking system and the struggles of sex workers: shortsighted solutions and lack of support
(webinar in English, with interpreting service in Italian)
CHAIR: Michela Semprebon, Coordinator of the INSigHT Research Team
PRESENTERS: Isabelle Johansson, Research Fellow of the INSigHT Research Team and Ophelia Eglentyn, Founder and Member of Red Umbrella Sweden (RUS)
TOPIC: Sweden, secondary movements, the Swedish anti-trafficking system and the protection of women victims of trafficking, the engagement of sex workers’ associations in the Swedish anti-trafficking system.What role can sex workers’ organisations play in tackling human trafficking? In their role as peer-to-peer communities, sex workers’ organisations have been acknowledged as important contributors in tackling exploitation and human trafficking. Meanwhile, sex workers’ organisations often find themselves working in isolation, without any interest or support from other key anti-trafficking actors. This problem is especially evident in Sweden where the fight against human trafficking is tightly linked to the repressive Swedish prostitution policy, which aims to abolish the sex trade and further contributes to sex workers’ isolation. While the Swedish focus on repression hinders the involvement of sex workers’ organisations in the Swedish anti-trafficking system, sex workers’ organisations find other ways to contribute to the cause.In this webinar, we will talk about the challenges that Swedish sex workers face when organising and working to support their peers. We will also talk about how repressive prostitution policies compromise the well-being and safety of sex workers, focusing especially migrants. First, Isabelle Johansson will briefly introduce the research carried out in the context of the INSigHT Action on the functioning of the Swedish anti-trafficking system. She will then interview Ophelia Eglentyn, Founder and Member of the Swedish sex worker organization Red Umbrella Sweden (RUS). Members of the Italian network GRIPS (a group of researchers on prostitution and sex work) and members of the Comitato per i Diritti delle Prostitute will also join the webinar and discuss with us!