Metamorphosis of the White Slave Trade Concept within the League of Nations: paradigm of contemporary migratory flows
Esther Pomares Cintas

The history of repressive international policies to control migratory flows of unqualified economic immigrants emerged within the League of Nations at the turn of the 20th century, with the management of the intra-European and transcontinental exodus of prostitutes, known as "white slave trade". As the Archives of the League of Nations reveal, some of the keys of the international political agendas on human trafficking at the time were forged around women. They reveal significant substantive issues: the shaping of an ideology that takes prostitution as a hostage to a discourse on trafficking in human beings, aimed at disabling adult women in the area of voluntary paid sexual services, as a measure to eradicate prostitution as a job opportunity that facilitates migration. As the migratory flows of unqualified and impoverished people are not likely to cease, since the factors that drive them appear to be here to stay, old political discourses are retracing their steps. Sex work is once again contemplated from the prism of the fight on trafficking in human beings, understood in turn as a tool for containing "annoying" migratory flows. This points to a reductionist and speculative aim: we must "avoid the idea that prostitution can be a solution for migrant women in Europe" (European Parliament resolution of 26 February 2014). Analysing in detail the keys and impact of this discourse is the purpose of this article.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jlcj.v9n2a4