Date of Degree

9-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Jean Halley

Subject Categories

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | International and Area Studies | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Sociology

Keywords

sex work, sex trafficking, migration, France, Nigeria

Abstract

Although the Nordic Model has been embraced by the international anti-trafficking movement, recent studies, and closer examinations of France’s approach to the issue of sex trafficking reveal a strong anti-migrant and anti-sex work bias. In this thesis, I use studies of the impacts of France’s 2016 anti-trafficking bill on migrant sex workers, feminist critiques of neo-abolitionism and the Nordic Model, and examples of France’s hypocritical anti-migrant position, to explore how Nigerian women are harmed by the contemporary French fight against sex trafficking. The pervasive influence of anti-sex work radical feminism on anti-trafficking protocols which define the sex industry as analogous with a global slave trade has encouraged countries to target their sex industries without addressing the root causes of sex trafficking. As France continues to invest in and uphold anti-migrant schemes and attitudes, the insincerity of its alleged humanitarian duty to victims of sex trafficking has been exposed. Not only are these anti-migrant policies tied to a resurgence of racist nationalist politics, but they also create the conditions in which trafficking thrives by making it harder for migrants to reach France, removing support for asylum seekers, and stigmatizing economic migrants. I demonstrate that France’s 2016 bill criminalizing the purchase of sex not only hasn’t made a significant impact in curbing sex trafficking, but also has actively exacerbated the vulnerability of Nigerian sex workers.

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