Sex Trafficking in Social Work Perspective

I wrote a paper on approaching sex trafficking through a social work lens a couple years ago. From the introduction:

The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of social work perspectives on and solutions for the problem of commercial sexual exploitation, or sex trafficking. Having advocated for U.S. government intervention to end trafficking in persons for five years, the author is now seeking broader perspectives and alternate solutions. Information on buyers of sexual services and traffickers is of special interest since the author knew little about them prior to this study. While most source information for this paper comes from the domain of social work, some comes from related domains such as psychology, sociology, criminology and gender studies. The problem of sex trafficking is found to be complex, requiring multi-perspective, multi-level interventions.

This literature review begins with an overview of the problem of human trafficking in general before focusing in on sex trafficking in particular. Characteristics of each type of actor, victims, buyers and traffickers, are presented. Finally, strategies for prevention and rehabilitation for each actor are proposed.

I found the research and writing process helpful in broadening my perspective on the issue. I had intended to “do something” with the paper but never did, so I’m just going to post it here:

Kevin Daum – Sex Trafficking in Social Work Perspective (2014)

Caveat: I thought of it now since I’m currently working on another paper and reading criticisms of anti-sex trafficking work from the perspectives of sex worker and human rights advocates. I have not re-read my 2014 paper using either of those lenses, so I’m sure it’s not very sensitive to the rights and concerns of consenting sex workers.

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