Policy Press

International approaches to prostitution

Law and policy in Europe and Asia

Edited by Geetanjali Gangoli and Nicole Westmarland


May 31, 2006

Page count

224 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
International approaches to prostitution

What is to be done about prostitution? Is it work or is it violence? Are women involved in prostitution offenders or victims? Is prostitution a private or a political issue? The answers to these questions vary depending on many factors, including where in the world you live.

This book provides a valuable, detailed international comparison of the laws, policies and interventions in eight countries across Europe (England and Wales, France, Sweden and Moldova) and Asia (India, Pakistan, Thailand and Taiwan). The countries were chosen because of their contrasting social policy and legislative frameworks.

Specific topics covered include national social and historical contexts in relation to prostitution; legal frameworks - with discussion of existing laws and policies and debates around legislation and decriminalisation; key issues faced - particularly relating to reasons for entering prostitution and analysis of policies and interventions.

The case studies are brought to life by giving voice to the experiences of women involved in prostitution themselves together with the personal reflections of the authors.

Aimed at a wide audience of students, academics, policy makers and practitioners, this book makes an important contribution to academic and policy debates in the fields of criminology, law, social policy, women's studies, sociology, politics and international relations.

"This book will make a major contribution to the continuing debates on prostitution. It provides much useful information on law and policy from a feminist perspective and explores the major issues in an international context. This opens up possibilities of a less polarised debate, which will be of great benefit both to students and researchers and to those, most notably women, children and young people, whose lives are centrally affected." Ellen Malos, Senior Research Fellow, Violence Against Women Research Group, University of Bristol

"An excellent resource for students." Dr Tina Skinner, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath

Geetanjali Gangoli and Nicole Westmarland are Research Fellows at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, UK.

Introduction: approaches to prostitution ~ Nicole Westmarland and Geetanjali Gangoli; From the personal to the political: shifting perspectives on street prostitution in England and Wales ~ Nicole Westmarland; Prostitution in France ~ Gill Allwood; Prostitution in Sweden: debates and policies 1980-2004 ~ Yvonne Svanstrom; The Republic of Moldova: prostitution and trafficking in women ~ Kristina Abiala; Prostitution in India: laws, debates and responses ~ Geetanjali Gangoli; Good women, bad women: prostitution in Pakistan ~ Fouzia Saeed; Selling bodies/ selling pleasure: the social organisation of sex work in Taiwan ~ Mei-Hua Chen; Prostitution in Thailand: perceptions and realities ~ Alyson Brody.