January 10, 2011

Sex Tourism and Trafficking: Not one and the same

Megan Rivers-Moore did her doctoral work on sex tourism in Costa Rica. She is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto

(This is one of a series of weekly columns from Guyanese in the diaspora and others with an interest in issues related to Guyana and the Caribbean)

By Megan Rivers-Moore

Latin America and the Caribbean are characterised by a long history of migration into, out of, and within the region. The Caribbean diaspora is surely one of the most significant in the world, marked by complex ties across nations and within families.

This is the case of those who would be included under the ‘free movement of skilled nationals’ provisions, as well as the working class and poor men, women, and children who move in search of survival and improved life chances. It is within this context of migration and diaspora that we must place discussions of trafficking, a much talked about but often poorly understood topic that is at the forefront of concerns about migration, labour, and sexuality.

A key problem in so many discussions of trafficking was reproduced in an October 15th article in the Stabroek News, titled ‘Sex tourism growing in favoured destinations in Caribbean’, namely, that sex tourism and trafficking are conflated, as if they were one and the same.

The Organisation of American States (OAS) co-ordinator of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit in the Department of Public Security, Fernando Garcia-Robles, reportedly noted that several tourist destination countries in the Caribbean have a growing sex tourism industry, and acknowledged “concerns that the Free Movement of Skilled Nationals in Caricom could result in increased human trafficking.”

Read full article here.

No comments: