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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 Free City of Danzig and Warsaw

In contrast to Warsaw’s position as a major European capital, the history of the sex trade in Danzig is coloured by the city’s status as a Free City and a Baltic port. Founded by the Teutonic knights in the Middle Ages, Danzig remained independent for much of the modern period, nominally tied to the Polish Commonwealth yet enjoying special economic privileges. Its population was mainly German and Dutch speaking, with a heavy admixture of foreign traders and Polish workers from surrounding towns and villages. With the fall of the Polish state in the late eighteenth century, the city was incorporated into Prussia and became subject to German legislation governing prostitution. Only in 1920 with the collapse of the German Empire was it partially reabsorbed into Poland and connected to the Polish state by a customs union. The Danzig that Paul Kinsie visited had just experienced yet another transition in its legal and political status, a shift that brought about a significant upheaval in its population as well as a dramatic increase in prostitution and the illicit migration of sex workers. .

English

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