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Trafficking in Women (1924-1926)

The Paul Kinsie Reports for the League of Nations - Vol. 1

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This book provides a transcription of the reports written by undercover agent Paul Kinsie for the League of Nations Special Body of Experts on Traffic in Women and Children in the mid-1920s. Between 1924 and 1926, a team travelled to more than a hundred cities in Europe, the Americas and the Mediterranean area to interview individuals involved in the regulation, repression, medical control, organization and practice of the sex trade. American undercover agents were included on the team to infiltrate the so-called ‘underworld’ and obtain ‘facts’ about the traffic. Among these, Kinsie was the most prolific. He visited more than forty cities and produced hundreds of reports in which his contacts with prostitutes, brothel owners, madams, pimps and procurers are described in detail. For a proper contextualization of the reports, scholars from around the world were asked to provide short introductions to the situation with regard to prostitution in each city that was visited. The book offers a unique source of information which is of great ethnographic value for people interested in the history of human trafficking and prostitution.

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Acknowledgements

Several persons and institutions contributed to the realization of this publication. The encouragement and professional assistance from the personnel of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), in particular from Blandine Blukacz-Louisfert, Jacques Oberson and Irina Roffe, has been invaluable. We would also like to thank Miranda Patel and Mark Wyers for their language corrections and copy-editing of the manuscript. We are equally grateful to all the authors of the city introductions for their enthusiastic and disciplined collaboration, and to Marie-Laurence Flahaux, Pascale Iserbiet, Amélie Leybaert, Nicolas Marquis, Jacques Marquet, Bernardine Pejovic, Diego Rodríguez Vallejo, Adeline Rosenstein, Charles Van Onselen and Anne-Laure Wibrin for their various forms of support. Thanks also to the Institut d’analyse du changement dans l’histoire et les sociétés contemporaines (IACCHOS) from the Université catholique de Louvain, the Fonds national de la recherche scientifique (Belgium) and the UNOG for their material contribution to this project.

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