PhD defense Maite Verhoeven

PhD defense Maite Verhoeven

Maite Verhoeven defended on Thursday 6 april at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam her PhD thesis entitled “Government policies and sex work realities: Human trafficking in the regulated sex industry”.

In the Netherlands selling sexual services for money is accepted by law under certain conditions. Some sex workers, however, are tricked out of their money by people using manipulation, fraud or coercion. This crime, the exploitation of sex workers, constitutes human trafficking.

Several government agencies deal with the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking in the sex industry, and with the protection of victims. However, people who are identified as victims often decline the assistance that is offered to them. How can this be explained? Does it mean that the way in which human trafficking is dealt with fails to meet the needs and problems of sex workers?

This dissertation explores these questions by zooming in on the red-light district in Amsterdam and reveals the relationships between pimps and sex workers, the informal economy and the criminal investigation of human trafficking. It shows that the perspective of sex workers on exploitation and on government policy is relevant for a better understanding of effective anti-trafficking policy.

Read the thesis (full text in English) at:https://english.wodc.nl/onderzoeksdatabase/ov-201702-government-policies-and-sex-work-realities-human-trafficking-in-the-regulated-sex-industry.aspx