A friend just sent me the most interesting article on human traffic I have read in a long long time. Jazbinsek from the Working Group on Metropolitan Studies in the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin analyses:
White Slavery Trade. Biography of a Social Problem
Around 1900 it was widely considered a great social problem that young women ran the risk of being abducted and sold to brothels. The resulting world-wide campaigns against so-called white slavery (in German internationaler Mädchenhandel), however, was based on mere fiction. German criminologists and anglo-american social scientists have proven that forced prostitution as a form of organized crime per se did not exist. Yet the belief in this myth was kept alive for political reasons. On the one hand, the horror story of the foreign white slave trader was used to mobilize resentment against foreigners. On the other hand, the campaign for the rescue of innocent girls was directed against social movements that demanded the acknowledgment of prostitution as a profession. The author has investigated the biography of the social problem „white slavery trade“ up to the present. The starting point of his case study is a contribution to the Berlin series of publications, Grossstadt-Dokumente, from 1908, which dealt with the phenomenon of white slavery trade.
Jazbinsek offers a historical reconstruction of the social problem that what was called white slavery, or traite des blanches, trata de blancas at the beginning of the 19th century and now human traffic. It's victims where young women migrating to the cities to work. The study highlights the role of "investigative" yellow journalism, pornography, anti-prostitutions groups, religion and patriarchal morals. The Victorian moral reaction against the emancipation of women and the rise of migration to the cities was the cause of rumours, press campaigns and police actions against women.
"stay at home and eat wisely" Poster of the German National Comittee before the 1WW. It reads "Urgent Warning to migrating girls". And underneath "Don't take a position abroad before sure information! in danger turn to the German National Comittee.