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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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Introduction

The involvement of the League of Nations in the struggle against the trafficking of women resulted from article 23c of its Covenant, entrusting it with the supervision of the application of the 1910 International Convention for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic. The first initiative taken in that direction was to convene a general conference in Geneva in 1921, at the end of which the double recommendation was made to transform the term “white slave trade” into “traffic in women and children” and to establish a permanent technical commission dedicated to the problem: the Advisory Committee on the Traffic on Women and Children in charge of advising the Council of the League.

English

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