Plenarveranstaltung III / Plenary session III: (Un)intended gender politics of humanitarianism

"Migration governance and racialization in anti-trafficking interventions targeting migrant sex workers in France"

Sprecher / Speaker:

Calogero Giametta (Aix-Marseille Université, Frankreich)

Recently gender/sexuality has become a strategic prism through which certain migrant groups are identified as specifically ‘vulnerable’ to exploitation and violence. Mai (2018) defines the focus on the  sexual  dimension  of  the  humanitarian-inflected interventions targeting migrants as ‘sexual humanitarianism’. Within sexual humanitarianism, migrants’ vulnerability is apprehended through cultural constructions of vulnerability that emerge at the intersection of race, gender and sexuality at both a national and global scale. In this presentation I will specifically focus my analysis on the French context where since 2016 the end-demand model of sex work has been enacted in order to fight against human trafficking and prostitution (Le Bail and Giametta 2018). In so doing I will contextualize the criminalization of the demand for sexual services and humanitarian and rescue operations  directed at sex workers, particularly migrant and racialized people in the sex work sector in France. Here the fight against human trafficking takes place in a national context infused of a universalistic logic that imagines  itself  to be color-blind and egalitarian.It is therefore necessary to carefully consider the processes of racialization to which many migrants, particularly (cis and trans) women, are subject when referring to victims of trafficking in France. Starting from some theoretical considerations on both the neoliberal management of migration and the ‘valorization’ of women’s rights and gender equality at a governance level, I will pay particular attention to the work that ‘race’ does in the structures of migration control in order to highlight how the invisibilization of race is politically detrimental to migrant sex workers.

Datum: Montag, 30. September 2019