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Commentary :: Gender & Sexuality : Globalization & Capitalism

Globalization and the Sex Trade:Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children

In this important article, Richard Poulin, professor of sociology at the University of Ottawa (Canada), argues that the sex industry, previously considered marginal, has come to occupy a strategic and central position in the development of international capitalism.

For this reason the sex trade is increasingly taking on the guise of an ordinary sector of the economy. This article examines industrialization of the sex trade and the mass production of sexual goods and services structured around a regional and international division of labour which has resulted in the commodification of women and children.

[…] Any political economic analysis of prostitution and trafficking in women and children must take into account structural discrimination, uneven development, and the hierarchical relationships between imperialist and dependent countries and between men and women. In recent years under the impact of structural adjustment and economic liberalization policies in numerous countries of the Third World, as well as in the ex-USSR and Eastern Europe, women and children have become "new raw resources" within the framework of national and international business development.

[...] The apparent "normalcy" of trade in human beings in this period has led to misguided regulatory approaches in some quarters. Yet this very "normalcy" is what makes refusal of the sex industry as such, so essential. In this context, resisting or struggling against the commodification of women and children in the sex industry becomes a central element in the struggle against capitalist globalization. Anything less is complicity.

Read the full story "Globalization and the Sex Trade : Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children ", by Richard Poulin

To read other works on prostitution and different topics, click on Sisyphe's english section

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