The Traffic in Women: Gender, Mobility, and Migration Control in the Twentieth Century World

Professor Julia Laite


There is immense popular and academic interest in sex trafficking in the twenty first century, in an era marked by mass labour migration and economic and gender inequality. The phenomenon of sex trafficking–and concerns about it–have a very long history. Yet historians up until now have not provided the social sciences with any in-depth historical account of how the development of the globalized economy and the rise in working women’s migration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was related to sexual trafficking and migrant prostitution. While there has been some work on the construction of migration barriers and anti-trafficking policy, we are missing any long-duree sense of the influence and outcomes of these measures.

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