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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR)

Sustainable Society & Illicit Trade Group - NICOLLE ZEEGERS: "The effectiveness of prostitution policy in reducing human trafficking"

When:Th 27-10-2022 12:00 - 13:00

Dr. Nicolle Zeegers discusses the licensing of sex business and the treatment of sex services as any other work in the service sector.


National and international political actors highly contest whether legalization, client criminalization or decriminalization is the best approach to prostitution in the light of preventing forced working and exploitation in the sex industry. In the presentation, I will focus on the licensing of sex business that is typically for the legalization approach (The Netherlands) and the treatment of sex services as any other work in the service sector that is typical for decriminalization (New Zealand). Research into the impact of these different specific policies is desirable because policy choices in the field tend to be highly driven by ideology instead of facts and evidence. However, is it possible to do comparative research into such impact? How to identify what impact would be most relevant and how to measure it? In the webinar, I will address the pitfalls of taking numbers on human trafficking as an indicator. Instead, I propose to look at the mechanisms the regulators intended to implement in the social field and the question whether the chosen policy would indeed activate these mechanisms.

About the speaker

Nicolle Zeegers is assistant professor of political science at the department of Transboundary Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Groningen.

She researches prostitution, assisted reproductive technologies and gender quota policies from a comparative law and politics perspective.