Prostitution and Sex Trade Expert to Speak at NUI Galway

Apr 16 2013 Posted: 11:08 IST

British-based expert on the prostitution and the sex trade, Dr Julia O’Connell Davidson will give a talk in NUI Galway, questioning dominant assumptions about the relationship between prostitution, trafficking, debt and slavery. The public lecture will take place on Thursday, 18 April at 5pm in the Alexander Board Room, The Quadrangle.

Dr O’Connell Davidson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nottingham. Her research and publishings over the past two decades have focused on prostitution, the sex trade, migration, and trafficking. Between 2001 and 2006, with Professor Bridget Anderson of Oxford University, Dr O’Connell Davidson coordinated research on ‘the demand side of trafficking’, with a particular focus on the sex and domestic work sectors.

Dr O’Connell Davidson book, Prostitution, Power and Freedom, rejects the idea that all women in prostitution are victims of violence and is based on field research in the British sex industry over several years, and she is currently writing a book on modern slavery. She also rejects the argument that sex-trafficking can be understood as a modern form of slavery and proposes that this position in fact supports conservative state migration policies.      

Dr Eilis Ward, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology, said: “Dr O’Connell Davidson’s work has been extremely important in clarifying the complexities of the worlds of prostitution, the sex trade and their relationship to migration. She is also raising very important and challenging questions especially for us in Ireland on the Department of Justice Equality and Defence recently held a public consultation process on possible changes in the law on prostitution which An Oireachtas Joint Committee is expected to publish a report with recommendations in the coming months.”

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Gender, Discourse and Identity research group of NUI Galway’s Gender ARC at the Moore Institute and Global Women’s Studies and supported by the University’s Millennium Conference Fund.


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