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Trafficking in Women (1924-1926)

The Paul Kinsie Reports for the League of Nations - Vol. 2

image of Trafficking in Women (1924-1926)

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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Prostitution in the Netherlands: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague

Over the centuries, Dutch officials have developed what is referred to as gedogen towards prostitutes and spaces for prostitution, a type of attitude which “involves self-regulation, enforced if necessary through administrative rules, but always with the criminal law as a threat in the background”, as explained by Brants (1998). Before 2000 and the legalization of prostitutes and brothel keeping, prostitution in Dutch cities was neither forbidden nor officially allowed: solicitation practices in open spaces, brothels and even procuring (though legally forbidden since 1911) could be found on the streets and taverns of the main cities. Excess, however, was condemned: disorderly behaviour, drunkenness and forced prostitution of minors were periodically sought out and sentenced by the municipal or regional courts. That attitude towards prostitution combined the law and judicial practice with temperance: even when brothels became illegal after 1911, brothel-like establishments opened their doors and continued offering paid sexual transactions, with the police well aware of their existence.

English

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