Temida 2008 Volume 11, Issue 2, Pages: 21-47
doi:10.2298/TEM0802021M
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Football and sex: The 2006 FIFA World Cup and sex trafficking

Milivojević Sanja, Pickering Sharon

The staging of the 2006 Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup brought together a wide ranging coalition of interests in fuelling a moral panic around sex trafficking in Europe. This coalition of diverse groups aimed to protect innocent third world women and prevent organized crime networks from luring them into the sex industry. In this article we will argue that as a result of increased attention prior to the World Cup 'protective measures' imposed by nation-states and the international community to prevent "disastrous human right abuses" (Crouse, 2006) have seriously undermined women's human rights, especially in relation to migration and mobility. We survey media sources in the lead up to the World Cup to identify the nature of the coalition seeking to protect women considered to be vulnerable to trafficking and the discourses relied upon that have served to undermine women's agency and diverse experiences of increased border and mobility controls. We conclude that measures introduced around the 2006 World Cup in relation to sex trafficking did not end with its final whistle.

Keywords: sex trafficking, World Cup, intervention, mobility, agency

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