So You Think You Will Dance?

As walkers glance at the women looking like highly sophisticated and sensual dolls in the window shop (we’ll let you guess where that is), they are suddenly bemused to see these ladies dancing away to a rhythmic heavy drum and base sound. Why music is playing or sex workers are dancing is off little worry to the curious observers who are clearly enjoying themselves watching this rather unique spectacle. As the music stops people are cheering and clapping away while a gigantic slide with writing unfolds. This is what it says:

“Every year thousands of women are promised a dance career in Western Europe.

Sadly too many of them end up here”.

Facial expressions turn blank – silence installs itself in the street. If you haven’t seen the video clip, check it below.  Duval Guillaume Modern, a PR agency in Belgium, created and made it for us to raise awareness about the women who are trafficked into the sex industry every year.

It’s clever – it goes straight to the point in a sassy and witty kind of way. Many women today are tricked and forced into a life they did not choose and most people are still unaware of this reality. False promises of dancing or modelling careers are indeed a common way to attract young women, particularly from Eastern Europe who dream of a better life in the western hemisphere. However not all women who are prostitutes or in the red light district have been trafficked, and it’s not only women it can happen to, trafficking for sexual exploitation happens to men and children as well. It is also not only the promise of a dance career that is used to lure and deceive people, it could be the promise of education or love and a relationship from someone posing as a real boyfriend/ girlfriend, and on rare occasions kidnapping. This also doesn’t happen just in Amsterdam but in almost every country and often a lot closer to home than we probably imagine –residential properties are sometimes used as undercover brothels.

You can choose to take action against this like our Active Community against Trafficking (ACT) Group in Craigavon, Northern Ireland did. They have been raising awareness about women who may have been trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation in their local area. They created the Red Card campaign, an information leaflet that they have been handing out at their local football club.

Feeling inspired? What could you do?

Thank you to Duval Guillaume Modern who made the video.

6 thoughts on “So You Think You Will Dance?

  1. John Mac

    Whilst any sane person abhors the notion of trafficking , is there any chance that consentual sex work would be seperated from trafficking by this org or does the org have an agenda like securing more government funding with alarmiust campaigning. I think everybody remembers the 25,000 sex slaves that were ‘supposed’ to exist in the UK in the last decade which was debunked by Opertaion Pentameter.
    Really effective advert but ultimately purporting a message created by smoke and mirrors.

    1. People who are tricked into thinking that they have legitimate work abroad, who have their passports taken away from them once abroad, who cannot speak the local language, and who are told that they will end up in prison if they go to the local authorities, or that their families will face retribution for any disobedience are not involved in a consentual transaction. They are slaves. and this is a reality whether you choose to believe in it or not.

  2. @John Mac I agree that having the right reporting and data is important…and having a good campaign without accurate data/reporting is foolish. Anyway, in regards to the legalization debate on sex work, there are different takes on it, but my thing is how do we define “choice”? Yes, the sex workers who are of consenting age are choosing their work. But considering that average age of entry into commercial sex work is 13-15, and most were abused as children, was it really a pure “choice”? Just something to think about. (ref.: http://www.rapeis.org/activism/prostitution/sexworkerscivilrights.htm)

  3. I’ve written a response to this clip from my own sex worker perspective, and a bit about how the failure to separate trafficking from economic migration for work frustrates both our anti-trafficking efforts and sex worker rights campaigns (for decriminalisation, not legalisation, folks!) Unfortunately, this clip is just one of a long litany of campaigns that conflate sex work and trafficking, and stigmatise sex work in the process. If anyone’s interested, I’ve got more to say here (warning: swear words ahoy): http://eithnecrow.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/why-this-video-needs-to-fuck-off/

    Eithne

  4. Sonali

    Who would really want to earn their living in the sex trade, being owned by pimps and paedophiles who are more than happy to give you a black eye or broken jaw when you do not comply to their commands. Any prostitution is slavery in a different way shape and form. The sex industry is a corrupt and powerful one generating millions by exploiting others including the ‘grooming’ of young girls from childhood.

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