Selling Sex in Order to Migrate: The End of the Migratory Dream?

Author(s) : Milena Chimienti

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This article analyses the trajectories of female migrant sex workers in Switzerland, and discusses the ambivalently empowering and disempowering subjective experiences of the people involved in their varying local contexts. It shows that sex work represents, on the one hand, a chance for women to migrate legally, to find work in order to achieve their migratory projects or just to survive. On the other hand it highlights that the link between migration and sex work is emblematic of the cost of entering Europe today, and questions the extent to which migrating through sex work could mean the end of an improvement in quality-of-life through migration. This article gives a differentiated analysis of sex work and the functioning of agency, in order to grasp the mechanisms and conditions of this particular type of migration.

Keywords: Female MigrationSex WorkSubjective ExperiencesEmpowermentVulnerabilitySwitzerland