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 Cairo

The expansion of the sex trade in colonial Cairo was an effect of the increasing integration of Egypt and its capital city within the global market and the colonial order after British occupation in 1882. Since the 1860s, and especially after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which had greatly increased the role of the country in the world economy, Cairo’s urban fabric had started to change at an unprecedented rate. Large sections of the city were restructured or built anew to provide dwellings for the rising local middle class and the growing community of foreigners, attracted by Egypt’s economic boom and the very favourable fiscal and commercial concessions they enjoyed under the Capitulations, agreements signed between the Ottoman sultans and foreign residents in the Empire since the seventeenth century. Commercial activities multiplied, sanitization and diffusion of public transportation changed the ways in which residents, locals and foreigners alike, made use of the urban space. The fulcrum of such a changing urban landscape was the Azbakiyya, right in the centre of the modern city, which was quickly expanding to the north-east of the Islamic city on the western bank of the Nile.


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