Trafficking in Women (1924-1926)

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

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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.



Prostitution in Haifa and Jaffa

In the early 1920s, a few years prior to Paul Kinsie’s visit to two port towns in Palestine, significant changes had taken place with far-reaching ramifications, among, other things, for prostitution. Ottoman rule had ended and the British occupied Palestine governing it according to the mandate granted by the League of Nations. By 1925 the British had not yet signed, on behalf of Palestine, the 1921 International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children, issued by the League of Nations, as it would do in 1931. Nevertheless, Kinsie included the two rapidly growing towns of Haifa and Jaffa in his undercover study on trafficking of women and children in the cities of the Middle East. His visit was short and for unspecified reasons, confined to the two towns mentioned above, avoiding Jerusalem where prostitution was rampant immediately after the British occupation, in the winter of 1917–1918.


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