The primary aims of this study were to examine Croatian truck drivers’ sexual contact with sex workers, estimate the frequency of condom use, and assess knowledge of HIV/AIDS within this population. The research was conducted from June 14 to September 16, 2005 at customs offices and accompanying parking lots in four Croatian cities. The sample consists of 69 truck drivers. Information about sexual behavior and condom use were gathered by using a semi-structured interview. Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, measured with a self-administered questionnaire, was found to be low. Six respondents (8.7%) had correctly answered all 13 questions. By contrast, 73% of drivers considered themselves well informed about HIV/AIDS, indicating that most drivers overestimate their knowledge. The majority of respondents (n=62) assumed that most of their colleagues engage in sexual contact with sex workers while on the road, although only one third of respondents reported that they personally have paid for sex. All of the respondents who reported engaging in sexual contact with sex workers stated that they always use condoms. Fear of being infected with a sexually transmitted infection was reported as the main reason for condom use.
The attempt to regulate prostitution dates back to ancient times. This paper is concerned with the regulation of prostitution in Osijek in the late 19th and early 20th century. The paper is based on archival records; the focus of interest are the Rules for Organization and Supervision of Prostitution in the free royal town of Osijek from 1896 and the Brothel Rules in the free royal town of Osijek from 1911. Similar regulations existed in other Croatian towns and contained the registration and health control dana of prostitutes, data on their rights and liabilities, accommodation data in brothels as well as data on the rights and liabilities of brothel owners. As nothing has been written on prostitution in Osijek, the objective of this paper is to present attempts to control prostitution and to supply a comprehensive context for the regulation of prostitution in other European countries. The prostitution problem came down to two basic issues: the health and the moral issue, whereas the issue of workers’ rights arose a bit later. Most of the European countries in the 19th century and the early 20th century had characteristic prostitution regulations, i.e. the prescribed control of public prostitution by the police. This pertained also to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and to Osijek which followed the prevailing European tendencies with respect to the regulation of prostitution.
The article underlines the difficulties in defining „prostitution“, approaching critically particular logical & semantic elements as origin of the „prostitution“ term and discussing the most frequent attitudes towards prostitution & prostitutes. Examining the motivation issue of prostitution, the article covers economic, psychological & environmental circumstances of the problem concerned, as well as the standards of relating social control, emphasizing in particular the concept of decriminalization. Concluding segments cover symbolic/imaginary repercussions of the prevalent conception of prostitution and prostitutes, introducing a conceptual pattern and an estimate for their comprehension. Annotating the empiric facts & particulars, the article presents the characteristics of prostitution in the Slovene and Croatian society.
In this paper, the author discusses the problem of pedophilia and prostitution and their scope and significance in the light of organised crime. Both pedophilia (which is legally recognised as sex crimes against minors) and prostitution are actual problems in the contemporary world. Both problems are very complex and comprise different interrelated phenomena. Because of spatial limitations, in this paper just few of them are marked. Contemporary literature review on these topics reveals the existence of necessary recognition of problems, but the next step, which includes the scope of the problem, shows many difficulties. Regarding the fact that both phenomena represent illegal activities, the scope of the problem is estimated according to the police data. Police data are, in this respect, insufficient regarding the huge dark figures – in the basic sense and in the sense of organised crime. Big discrepancy between non-detected and detected cases is partially explainable in the fact that these sex related crimes are still part of the social taboo.
This paper presents data on the scope of the problem in European and non-European countries and existing legal regulations. Besides that, the data on Croatian legal regulation and the patterns of these problems are also discussed.
The aim of this paper is the analysis of the so-called sin industry in Croatia, during the 2008–2013 recession period. The sin industry in Croatia demonstrates resilience to recession by increasing its share in the economy. The share of the sin industry in the Croatian gross domestic product hovers around 2.17%, reaching 6.2 billion kuna. The most significant part of the sin industry is the manufacture and distribution of alcoholic beverages, followed by the manufacture of tobacco products and gambling activities. Less important, although still significant, are illegal activities such as prostitution and drug production and distribution. The sin industry consists of the so-called illegal and legal part. The illegal part accounts for 0.84% of the economy or 3.3 billion kuna. At the same time, the sin industry provides 22.5 thousand jobs, with a rising trend within the total employment in the period of recession (+15.6%).
Human trafficking is one of the greatest crimes of our time, and it is a human rights’ violation per se. People are trafficked for the purposes of forced labor, illegal employment, show business, false and forced marriages, forced prostitution etc. On the social level it manifests itself as a modern slavery, because the victim is typically in a slavery-like position in accordance to the perpetrator. Human trafficking is one of the most lucrative forms of the organized crime, and it is believed that, because of the low risk and high profit, it is at the very top of organized crimes, just behind the drug and arms trafficking. The most common victims of this form of trafficking are women and children, therefore the most vulnerable social groups. Consequences that affect the victims of this type of trafficking are different, ranging from the psychological and physical trauma to the death. Particularly interesting question is that of the relation between human trafficking and the legalization of prostitution, i.e. whether the legalization acts positively on reducing the number of trafficked persons or not? Those states which have legalized prostitution point out as the key argument that in this way the number of the trafficked persons will be reduced. Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to show the relationship between prostitution and trafficking and to provide analysis and conclusion how the legalization of prostitution affects trafficking.
Trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation as a means of sexual enslavement is one of the most frequent and acutest forms of organized crime on the territory of the six republics of the former Yugoslavia. Geopolitically, this area is a part of South-Eastern Europe, which belongs to the main sources of trafficking in women in the world according to the dynamics and volume of the exploitation and its figures can be compared only to Asia. Although in the context of South-Eastern Europe the figures reach the level of 120, 000 victims per year, this number is definitely bigger considering the well organized (mostly international) criminal network which easily escapes judicial bodies and the disinclination of victims to willingly speak about thier traumas. The complexity of the problem is especially evident on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, which intensified some existing and created some new forms of women discrimination during the chaotic war and post-war period in the last decade of the 20th century. Impoverished economy, unemployment, under-representation of women in various aspects of life, the rapid increase of crime and violence, the lack of effective control and sanctions over perpetrators of criminal offences are only some of the consequences which have negatively influenced the position of women and contributed to the spreading of trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Despite of efforts to implement international standards for the supressing of trafficking and accordingly, to articulate efficient national legislation, the countries are still facing the problems of fighting this increasing form of organized crime. The so-called trichotomy of the region significantly contributes to it: this area is at the same time a place of recruiting women victims of trafficking, their transitional area and final destination. The authors of this paper are trying to indicate existing forms and characteristics of trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation in transitional societies of the former Yugoslavia (primarily, causes and effects) and legal solutions for this problem both de lege lata and de lege ferenda.
Prostitution is a social phenomenon for which can reasonably be said that represents „the oldest profession in the world“. In general, it is treated as a negative social phenomenon. We can combat prostitution in many ways and one of them certainly is through legislative, prescribing it as misdemeanor and/or as a crime. Connection between prostitution and organized crime is irrefutable, organizing prostitution and sexual exploitation is a highly profitable activity. Trafficking in human beings for the purpose of prostitution is extremely widespread and represents a problem on a global level. For these reasons, it is extremely important to combat prostitution. Some states have chosen to legalize prostitution for the sake of its control, reduction of street prostitution, raising levels of health care providers and users of such services and especially because of the taxation of such services and its income in the state budget. But, in the Republic of Croatia, prostitution is not legalized, although there are some proponents. In Croatian legislative, voluntary and no compulsory prostitution is a violation of the Act on Offences against public order and peace (proscribed as misdemeanor), and no voluntary and compulsory prostitution is a crime proscribed by Croatian Criminal Code. The Croatian Criminal Code prescribes some other prostitution related crimes. Prostitution as a misdemeanor and as crime, as well as some other prostitution related crimes from Croatian legislation, along with relevant statistics, will be dominant subject of discussion in this paper. In the introductory part, some short notifications will be given about the prevalence of this social phenomenon.
The paper provides an overview of sexuality issues by presenting the manifested and latent level of its occurrence in the field of social work as well as social workers’ possible approaches to these issues. In social work, the manifested level of sexuality refers to sexual violence, prostitution, various forms of sexually inappropriate and risky behaviour (such as paraphilia and incest), homosexuality and sexually transmitted diseases. The latent level refers to the fact that sexuality is an important aspect of human life, although the focus is on some other life needs. Therefore it includes various aspects of social work with members of all age groups (children, youth, adults, families and the elderly), in various unfavourable living conditions (people with disabilities or chronic diseases) and living under care (in homes, penal institutions, and hospitals). When dealing with these issues, social workers need to pay special attention to clients’ rights to self-determination, confidentiality principle and limitations of professional competences. The social workers’ activities can be aimed towards the following: recognising and integrating clients’ sexual needs, protecting and promoting this aspect of clients’ human rights, supporting and strengthening, creating and recovering social networks and providing information on other social services related to sexuality issues. In conclusion, further practical and research questions are proposed.
The article focuses on the sex work / violence controversy in debates about prostitution both theoretically and empirically, with an emphasis on Central/South-Eastern Europe, and Slovenia in particular. The article first analyses studies and debates on prostitution in the region during the (post)socijalist years. It then moves on to discuss the twofold effect of the liberalization of prostitution during the transition period: while, on the one hand, prostitution was destigmatized, on the other it was commodified to serve the economic interests of the emerging globalized sex and trafficking industry. Interviews with various protagonists involved in prostitution in Slovenia show how these processes affected their living and working conditions. The experiences of prostitutes reveal the complexity of their situations, showing that there is no clear-cut distinction between prostitution and trafficking and that both voluntary and involuntary elements are involved. By evaluation of arguments of both the sex work and the violence paradigms, the article proposes to study prostitution beyond binarism, in its heterogeneity, i.e. by thematizing its various aspects and by taking into consideration the realities of actors engaged in prostitution.
The purpose of this paper is to present and to analyse the legal framework for the regula- tion of prostitution in the Croatian-Slavonian territory in the period of validity of the Crimi- nal Code on Felonies, Misdemeanours and Petty Offenses of 1852. The main characteristic of this period is the reglementaristic attitude of the legislator towards prostitution. Reglementarism perceived prostitution as the “necessary evil” that should have been strictly controlled in order to reduce potential social harm. Local police forces supervised prostitution and decided whether or not to prosecute prostitution, and in some cases they tolerated it. For this purpose, local police issued special regulations that were compulsory for prostitutes, kept an official register of prostitutes and brought them under control by keeping their “indecent profession” registered. Registered prostitutes had to undergo regularly scheduled medical examinations. Because of the complexity of prostitution as a social phenomenon and its numerous implica- tions, in addition to criminal provisions, communities sought to take action against the pres- ence of prostitution within local police regulations and health regulations.
This article discusses the dilemmas faced in my research on prostitution. After describing the projects I have been undertaking in New Zealand and Croatia, it discusses the methodological and ethical issues I have been facing and the relevance of the legal and socio-cultural environments. In particular, it looks at the problems in securing access to the field and recruiting participants, the relationships with the participants, and the risks faced by the participants and the researcher. Following this, it summarises the lessons learnt and contributions that feminist socio-legal research centred on human rights can make for sex work scholarship.
The paper discusses human rights implications of different prostitution policies in Europe and uses the Croatian context to exemplify various human rights abuses suffered by sex workers. Before discussing different prostitutio regimes, different debates on the relationship between human rights and prostitution are discussed, as well as the human rights obligations for the state with respect to regulating prostitution and implementing prostitution policies.
To assess the association between victimization and HIV vulnerability among Croatian female seks workers (FSWs), a survey involving 157 FSWs recruited from Croatia’s two largest urban areas was conducted in 2014. A majority of participants reported direct and indirect victimization, which was found to be significantly associated with condom use at most recent noncommercial sexual intercourse and sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis in the past 12 months. The association between victimization and STI diagnosis was partially mediated by depressiveness and moderated by social support. The buffering role of social support points to the importance of including counseling services in HIV prevention programs in Croatia.
Harm reduction-based HIV prevention has been in place among female sex workers (FSWs) in Croatia for more than a decade. However, little is known about how well the existing programs meet the needs of FSWs in an environment where sex work remains criminalized and highly stigmatized. This study aims to assess changes in FSWs’ vulnerability to HIV infection in the 2008-2014 period. Using convenience samples of FSWs in Croatia’s two largest urban settings, behavioral data were collected in 2007-2008 and 2014. Outreach workers interviewed 154 FSWs in the first wave of the survey and 158 in the second. The period under observation was characterized by a stable prevalence of most HIV-relevant risk behaviors and experiences. Significant changes in client-based victimization and HIV knowledge were observed only among FSWs in the capital city. Substantial and mostly sustained levels of sexual and nonsexual victimization call for more research into the limits of the current behavior-based harm reduction approach to HIV prevention in the country.
The study analyzed the prevalence and determinants of HIV-risks among female sex workers (FSWs) in Croatia and Montenegro. Face-to-face interviews were carried out in Zagreb, Split, and Podgorica during the 2006–2008 period. Croatian participants (n=154) reported fewer clients, more consistent condom use, higher rates of HIV testing, and greater HIV knowledge. The participants interviewed in Montenegro (n=119) were more likely to have injected drugs and to have experienced sexual abuse in the previous year. Although Montenegrin FSWs were more exposed to HIV-risks than Croatian FSWs, they reported lower HIV-risk self-assessment. Consistent condom use was significantly associated with education and HIV-risk self-assessment in the Croatian and the experience of physical/sexual abuse in the Montenegrin sample. In spite of a number of methodological limitations, the empirical insights provided by this study may assist in improving the existing HIV prevention initiatives.
The aim of this paper was to analyze and compare the prevalence of HIV-related sexual risk taking among Croatian female sex workers (FSW) in two major urban areas. Two groups of FSWs were interviewed in Zagreb (n=65) and Split (n=89). Participants’ mean age was 33.3 (SD=8.32). Interviews were conducted by outreach organizations that provide health services to sex workers in the two cities. The study used a brief questionnaire with standardized behavioral and HIV knowledge indicators. The two groups of FSWs differed significantly in most socio-demographic and socio-sexual indicators. Women from the Split sample were somewhat younger (χ2=6.87, p<0.05), less educated (χ2=7.71, p<0.05), less likely to be single (χ2=19.81, p<0.001), and less likely to be unemployed (χ2=5.22, p<0.05). In addition, they injected drugs in higher proportion (χ2=35.03, p<0.001), but had less clients in the preceding month (χ2=12.54, p<0.001) and were less likely to be abused by them (χ2=7.18, p<0.01). HIV testing was significantly more prevalent among participants in the Split sample (χ2=4.95, p<0.05). In multivariate analysis, selling sex in Zagreb (OR = 14.48, p<0.01), having secondary or higher education (OR = 4.76, p<0.05), ever tested for HIV (OR = 8.34, p<0.05), and having assessed the risk of getting infected with HIV as high (OR = 0.23, p<0.05) were significantly associated with consistent condom use with clients in the last month. The findings of this first systematic study on HIV-related risks among FSWs in Croatia point to the need to update targeted intervention programs by improving the prevention of HIV risks associated with injecting drug use (Split) and by a more efficient HIV educational approach.
Trafficking in human beings is widely recognized to be a major international problem. One of the most frequent forms of this crime is the trafficking of women for the purpose of sexual exploitation, which represents an alarming problem that has increased in the last ten years within Europe. Sex industry recruiters target the most economically depressed areas, mostly in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. Trafficked women are either coerced or blackmailed into prostitution and are financially exploited. To date, there has been no systematic research done on the patterns, scale and dimensions of trafficking in Croatia. This paper is a first attempt at trying to gauge the phenomenon. According to official estimates, Croatia is mainly a transit country with only a small percentage of trafficked women and children when compared to other types of criminal activity. However, official statistics on trafficking are at best only fragmentary and can not give a comprehensive picture of the problem. Data on illegal crossings of the state border have shown a constant increase in illegal migrations across the territory of Croatia over the last five years, but because of the lack of a screening procedure to differentiate smuggled from trafficked persons, available data only reflect the smuggled irregular migrant category. The summary of findings below strongly indicate that all facilitating factors for Trafficking in Women and Children (TiWC) are present in Croatia. Existing police reports and official statistics on trafficked women carry little or no information on a possible sexual dimension. This gap also extends to the public and official perception of the problem. Our study aimed to provide insights on the magnitude of the TiWC phenomenon, transit details, living and working conditions of trafficked women, traffickers and the mechanisms of their trade, the public perception of TiWC, official recognition of the problem and characteristics of policing. In this study, TiWC is understood as the transport (legal or illegal) of women and children across international borders for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation relates to situations in which women are involved in providing sexual favors by means of abduction, force, coercion, fraud and deception, violence or threat of violence and other forms of exploitation that violate their human rights. Methods used in this study included (1) content analysis of the media (newspapers and weekly magazines) covering TiWC, (2) a review of the current legal framework and interventions, (3) a public opinion survey tapping the dominant perception of the problem, as well as (4) in-depth interviews with those involved in TiWC. According to the data collected, TiWC in Croatia has changed significantly during the last decade. Two major phases can be distinguished. In the first, roughly covering the first half of the 90s, TiWC was concentrated in Zagreb and its vicinity. The main and possibly the sole trafficking route was from Hungary to Zagreb. Trafficked women were mainly employed in nightclubs and bars on the outskirts of the capital. This first phase of TiWC in Croatia was abruptly ended by a series of raids in 1996-1997. In the second phase, several routes from Bosnia and Herzegovina replaced the “Hungarian connection.” TiWC also became more geographically dispersed. The business spread to tourist towns and places frequented by military personnel. The most recent trend seems to be seasonal or temporary employment of women trafficked from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as a wider international sex tourism operation, which is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish from regular sex work. During the course of our research it became obvious that there is not a single strategy or response that characterizes the policing of TiWC. Interviews with police officers revealed their general approach of the problem of which we found two dominant positions. The first is to ignore or minimize the problem, the second concerns officers who do recognize TiWC as a serious problem but point out three important obstacles to efficient policing: corruption, lack of training and resources, and the absence of a clear and decisive plan of action. Furthermore, many of our interviewees disclosed the involvement of high-ranking police officers in the organization of TiWC. A significant shortcoming of the study is the lack of first-hand information about trafficked women, most of whom, according to our interviews, entered the country illegally. What became clear during the course of our fieldwork is that most of women who were taken into custody as illegal immigrants and/or persons “involved in international prostitution” were never asked the right questions. It should not come as a surprise that in most cases the legal sanctions are directed solely against trafficked women. The public opinion survey on TiWC in Croatia has shown that Croatian citizens are generally well informed about possible cases of TiWC. Almost two thirds of the respondents have heard about cases of organized prostitution involving foreign women in the Republic of Croatia, and almost half of the respondents have heard of cases where Croatian citizens have participated in the prostitution network of foreign women. The respondents who are informed about organized prostitution of foreign citizens also stated that there were such cases in their own local community where foreign women and children were involved. Newspapers and magazines, TV, as well as friends and acquaintances were stated as the main sources of knowledge about TiWC. Although cases of TiWC have not been extensively covered in the media, they have attracted public attention. However, the victim’s perspective is understated or ignored in these media coverage. The analysis of newspaper articles published between 1995-2000 on the organized prostitution of foreign women showed more extensive media coverage of TiWC cases between 1995-1997 compared to the late 90s. During that period, the majority of the reported cases involved women from Ukraine. Other cases included women from Moldavia and other countries in the FSU. In addition, women from Hungary were reported recently, in 1999 and 2000. Most of the crimes related to organized prostitution of foreign women were committed in nightclubs in Zagreb and its surroundings. These also included cases where larger groups of women were arrested. The traffickers were almost always Croatian. Our research suggests that TiWC in Croatia is a more serious problem than fragmentary and unreliable official data indicate. The collected data point to a need for a different policy regarding TiWC and trafficking in general. This conclusion is based on two arguments. First, illegal immigration has been on the rise in the last five years. Acknowledging the fact that trends in illegal immigration do not answer questions about trends in TiWC, we argue that a rise in illegal immigration reflects conditions that are supportive to TiWC. Secondly, the phenomenology of TiWC in Croatia revealed during our research study confirms systematic unsatisfactory police performance. The need for a policy change is based on an efficient policing imperative and the imperative to provide aid (so far completely absent) to trafficked individuals. In other words, the efforts and resources should be directed toward three operative goals: (1) to increase the efficiency of combating smuggling in people ; (2) to increase the efficiency of combating trafficking and especially TiWC ; (3) to establish a program providing aid to the victims of TiWC. To accomplish these goals, the following mechanisms should be incorporated in a new National Plan of Action for combating TiWC and trafficking in general: (i) Special training and additional resources for the police force, including border officers ; (ii) Regional coordination/sharing of information and intelligence on organized crime, routes, victims, etc. (iii) Establishment of a counter-trafficking unit with regional offices ; (iv) Legal reforms and training programs for judges ; (v) Establishment of a safe-house/shelter (including legal and psychological counseling) for trafficked women and children ; (vi) Establishment of protection and assistance program allowing/encouraging trafficked victims to prosecute their traffickers ; (vii) Stronger mass media involvement (raising awareness, prevention through dissemination of reliable information) to ensure public perception of trafficked women and children as victims, and traffickers as criminals ; media sensitivity training may be necessary ; (viii) Establishment of a coordinated network of organizations and institutions (governmental offices, NGOs, international organizations, and foreign embassies) sharing information, providing expert assistance, and coordinating fund-raising and research activities ; (ix) Various NGOs (especially women’s groups) and academic research centers should be encouraged and funded to carry out systematic research into regular and exploitative sex work to highlight trends ; Local communities should be involved and encouraged to adopt a pro-active approach and monitor in close cooperation with counter-trafficking regional offices.
Prostitution is a major moral, societal, social, economic, and public health issue. Until 1922 in Zagreb, prostitution was permitted in public houses. The operation of these public houses was regulated by a regulation (Regulation on Prostitution) from 1899. The Zagreb police issue a Regulation on the Supervision of Prostitution in the Municipal Territory on 24 September 1922. By this law public houses were disbanded. Girls and women who worked as prostitutes received the status of publicly tolerated prostitutes and were registered in a special file controlled by the police. Prostitution was forbidden in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1934 under the law for combating sexually transmitted diseases. By the end of September 1934 legal prostitution came to an end in Zagreb. After 1934, prostitution did not disappear rather it was thrown into the sphere of criminal activity.
The research is based on the interviews of 73 men, women, cis and transgender, sex workers who work in Skopje, Macedonia.
The report explores the impact of the laws in Serbia that criminalize sex work on the protection of the human rights of both sex workers and trafficked persons. The overall goal of the project “Law Above all and Court Practices” is to contribute to policies and practices which respect the human rights of both victims of human trafficking and sex workers in Serbia.
This article explores the dynamics of sex commerce on the web that occurs on various websites, and offers services ranging from escorts, nightclubs, massage parlors, and dating sites to multifunctional hubs. The study analyzed 149 commercial websites, focusing on three European countries, France, Greece, and Slovenia, with the purpose of revealing the representational patterns of online sex commerce. The aim is to explore the kinds of texts that are published on these websites and analyze actors’ profiles and sex services. We examine marketing strategies, look at the role of gender, and discuss the impact of profiling on the agency of sex workers. The analysis shows that websites and online networks tend to represent sexualities as a commercial niche where gender, ethnicity, and class intersect to reproduce gender stereotyping. We theorize sex work as (gendered) work that is similar to but also different from other work, and analyze web representation in this context.
The aim of this article is to explore the complexity of the online sex trade and work by analysing sexuality-related commercial websites, with reference to three European states, France, Greece and Slovenia. The article compares websites in each specific sociocultural context, in order to provide insights into the various types of networks and services that emerge, and to explore how they operate, how they communicate and how sex is being merchandised. We have conducted a two-tier analysis: The first part discusses results of a quantitative macro-analysis exploring 149 websites, while the second part is a micro-analysis analysing the visualisation of egocentric network of three selected websites. The focus is on understanding how gender relations develop in digital environment and how within cyberspace sectorial and national divides are dealt with. While there is evidence to suggest that in some sectors the Internet has opened avenues for sex workers to work independently of the control networks, there are also many forms of exploitation that arise from new media. We observe that sex commerce online is not particularly attentive to the agency of sex workers but is, to the contrary, oriented to provide opportunities and a forum for businessmen and clients.
This article examines the sex industry in the online environment in Slovenia, which has not yet been the subject of research. The complexity of the sex industry is recognized as an intersection of various forms of sex work, from prostitution to dance, striptease, escort services, erotic massage, Internet services. Marketing strategies and their effects on the sex industry, especially on sex workers, and networking of organizers, clients and sex workers are analyzed. We study the role of information and communication technologies in the organization and representation of sex work, and consider particularly the questions of gender relations, inequalities and power distribution. Findings are based on the analysis of 44 websites, obtained with the method of web crawling, which comprises the majority of Slovenian sex industry on the web. Features of the sex industry are also examined with a more detailed analysis of two prominent online actors in this field in Slovenia (Sloescort and Zavod69), above all of their networking with other actors, but also organization, functioning, content and representational strategies. The analysis shows that the organizers and clients of the sex industry in Slovenia use a variety of online tools for marketing and promotional purposes, and that their use and representational strategies reinforce commodification and stereotypization of sexuality and women working in the sex industry. Also, the analysis reveals oligopolistic positions of power held by the organizers and clients in relation to (especially female) sex workers.
This article analyses the controversy on the topics of prostitution and human trafficking online by way of researching the structure and discourses of non-commercial websites. Previous research (Agustín, 2005; Doezema, 2000; Freedman, 2003; Kelly, 2005) has shown that general-public, media and theoretical discussions tend to dichotomize the two phenomena, reconfirming the dividing lines between them. Realities are much more complex, pointing to the inadequacy of the division and to the interchangeable relations between the phenomena that are manifested at the intersection of economic, social and political developments determined by gender, ethnicity and class inequality (Pajnik, 2008, 2010). We explore in this article whether online discourses and debates reinforce the divide or, alternatively, provide new approaches to treating prostitution and trafficking as interrelated phenomena, because they are, increasingly, becoming migration and labour (economic and social) issues in the wider sense.
This article explores meaning-making processes around human trafficking, using the empirical example of the Slovene press. The analysis pinpoints how the topic appears in the media, what content emphases it receives in reporting, which aspects are dealt with and which are absent, and the implications of such framing. My reading of newspaper articles shows how trafficking appears within ‘frames’ that I label ‘criminalization’, ‘nationalization’, ‘victimization’ and ‘regularization’; together, these help to shape a specific anti-trafficking paradigm, one that depicts trafficking as a criminal issue and calls for stricter policing, saving victims and tightening borders. The frames as they appear in the Slovene press are unpacked here with the purpose of opening up space for understandings of trafficking that go beyond predominant representations.
The paper analyses the results of public opinion research that examined the attitudes of randomly selected male respondents to trafficking in human beings and prostitution in Slovenia. The analysis shows how both prostitution and trafficking in human beings are related to policies of control and border regimes and appear as legal or moral questions, addressing issues of human rights, the labour market and the sex industry. The majority of respondents supported the legalization of prostitution in Slovenia; those with a lower level of education were less favourable to its legalization and compared to highly educated respondents, they were more supportive of suitable sentencing policies. Most respondents also agreed that soliciting in a public place should be considered to be a minor offence. The paper exposes the shortcomings of the paradigm of moralization and criminalization which serve to victimize women and treat prostitution as an a priori violent activity. Most respondents also considered that prostitution destroys families and that it is shameful for males as well as for females. Advocates of legalization expressed to a lesser degree attitudes toward prostitution that can be explained within the paradigm of moralization. At the same time, the analysis highlights the inconsistencies of the sex work paradigm that does not reflect the role of clients and is blind to situations in which prostitution does not merely appear as »voluntary sex work«.
Current scientific and professional discussions on prostitution and trafficking in human beings arise from different definitions of the two phenomena and therefore also deal with them differently. One of the dimensions linking the two phenomena is case law, which is one of the important indicators for the establishment of trafficking in people and evaluation of policies implemented in this field. The analysis of case law related to criminal offences of trafficking in people in Slovenia covers the period from 2001 to 2005 and is based on field work carried out in Slovene courts which passed judgement on adult offenders for criminal offences related to trafficking in people (pimping, procuring prostitution, placing in conditions of slavery and, from 2004, on amended articles of the Criminal Code, Abuse of Prostitution and Trafficking in People). The study analysed data on criminal proceedings, how they began, what were their course and their duration and what was their outcome. The paper also discusses the accused, the convicted, persons involved in prostitution and their clients. It is interesting to know who they are, what their number is, what their motives are and what are their mutual relations. The analysis confirmed that the two phenomena are interwoven and that they are not determined only by supply and demand, but also by broader societal and social conditions. The paper stresses the need to establish a uniform methodology for collecting the very varied data about trafficking in people, which could have a positive impact on the future conduct of court proceedings.
Prostitution is poorly researched in Slovenia in ethnology, anthropology or sociology. The reasons for this condition may be found in the marginalisation and stigmatisation of (female and male) prostitutes and their clients. The findings presented in this article are the result of the author’s nearly one-year investigation of prostitution in Slovenia, and in particular the information provided to him by the actors involved in it: prostitutes and their clients. Based on interviews with these actors and the use of other relevant sources, the article provides insight into the operation of individual forms of prostitution in Slovenia and into the behaviour, reflections, ways of living, and attitudes of prostitutes and their clients.