IOM – The Demand Side of Sex: Perspectives on Trafficking and Prostitution (The Case of Slovenia)

The project is a part of a regional initiative of the IOM (International Organization for Migration) that aimed to organize and carry out research on the demand side of trafficking and forced prostitution in Slovenia, Hungary and Poland. In doing so, the project constituted a paradigm shift moving the focus of attention away from the trafficked person and instead targeting the users of sexual services. This approach allows breaking men’s anonymity around their purchasing of sex acts in the hope of bringing about greater responsibility and accountability. In order to achieve this, the research intends to enhance the understanding of the dynamics of demand both by outlining the profile and motivations of users of forced sexual services, as well as by increasing overall knowledge on the subject.

The core of the research is the analysis of the interviews conducted in Slovenia in August 2006 among users of sexual services, women working in prostitution, club owners and middle-persons and several experts, from state officials, representatives of NGOs to engaged individuals. The study presents an overview of both prostitution and trafficking in Slovenia which includes information on the existing research that deals with the phenomena in the country, information on legislative provisions, followed by the analysis of data from the semi-structured interviews. A discussion is put forward on the different understandings of the demand side of sex, which is followed by data analysis that are specifically oriented to debate the demand side. Empirical findings debating results of the interviews are followed by survey analysis that was carried out to explore the attitudes of males in Slovenia on different perspectives on trafficking and prostitution. The research is expected to generate sensitive knowledge about the demand side of trafficking which will serve as background and justification for policy development in the Central Europe an region and the EU as a whole.

Project leader: Mojca Pajnik
Project coworker: Urška Kavčič