[Interview with Joanna Pióro from Aspasie and b-roll of red light district in Geneva]

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Title:[Interview with Joanna Pióro from Aspasie and b-roll of red light district in Geneva]
Abstract:Gillian Caldwell interviews Joanna Pióro from Association Aspasie. Aspasie is a Geneva-based organization that works on behalf of sex workers and women who have been trafficked. Pióro talks about the situation of foreign women who come to Switzerland with artist visas and work in cabarets. She explains that women come because they have the false impression they will make money and find a husband. She says that Aspasie regularly visits the hotels or flats where the sex workers live, but it is often difficult to get information about safe sex and AIDS to them because their agents and cabaret owners do not want to help them. Pióro also discusses how much sex workers earn, and explains that their traffickers often keep their passports until they pay off their debts.
Sequence:1 of 1
  • Global Survival NetworkRole: Creator
  • Gillian CaldwellRole: Interviewer
Date Created:1996/10/06
Topics:economic, social, and cultural rights--economic and labor rights--sex workers
civil and political rights--women's rights
economic, social, and cultural rights--economic and labor rights--human trafficking
economic, social, and cultural rights--health and healthcare--AIDS/HIV
economic, social, and cultural rights--health and healthcare
Named Entitity:Joanna Pioro
Geographic Focuses:Europe--Russia
Geographic Base:North America and Central America--United States--New York--Brooklyn
Type of Resource:Moving image
Notes:Thousands of women from Russia and post-Soviet states have endured exploitation and slavery, yet their stories have been largely ignored by most law enforcement agencies and governments. Police agencies in receiving countries often minimize the extent of trafficking, and governments usually respond to trafficking as a problem of illegal migration, an approach that transforms women victimized by particular circumstances into criminals. To learn why and how this form of modern slavery persists, and to propose solutions, the Global Survival Network (GSN) conducted a study from August 1995 through the Autumn of 1997 to uncover the rapidly growing trade in Russian women for the purposes of prostitution. GSN conducted videotaped interviews with numerous non-governmental organizations, women who had been trafficked overseas, and police and government officials in Russia, Western Europe, Asia, and the United States. In order to delve into and learn more about the world of organized crime and its role in Russian sex trafficking, GSN also conducted some unconventional research by establishing a dummy company that purportedly specialized in importing foreign women as escorts and entertainers. Under the guide of this company, GSN successfully gained entry to the operations of international trafficking networks based in Russia and beyond. Many of the interviews were recorded with hidden cameras and provide insight into the trafficking underworld in action. Wherever legal, interviews were recorded by hidden cameras directly inside the establishments where prostitution was occurring. Whenever possible, the investigators revealed the nature of the work. In some cases, security conditions for both the investigator and the persons interviewed prevented disclosure. In order to preserve the safety and privacy of all parties involved, pseudonyms have been given to the persons interviewed during GSN's covert investigations, and whenever requested otherwise. "Bought and Sold: An Investigative Documentary on the International Trade in Women" was produced by GSN in collaboration with WITNESS in 1997, based on the two year undercover investigation. This groundbreaking documentary helped to catalyze legislative reform on trafficking as well as new financial resources to address the problem.
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