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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 Switzerland: Geneva,Lausanne and Bern

After the Protestant Reformation prostitution was strictly forbidden in the Swiss territories and prostitutes were imprisoned. That changed in the Helvetic Republic at the turn of the nineteenth century when, under the influence of the presence of Napoleonic troops, state regulation of prostitution was introduced in some cities. In addition, growing industrialization in the nineteenth century attracted numerous young persons to the cities in order to find work in newly built factories. Poverty in rural areas increased that trend and led not only to migration within Switzerland, but also to emigration to the “New World”, in order to find better economic possibilities. Local authorities encouraged overseas emigration, because they were responsible for looking after individuals who lacked means of subsistence.

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