Sunday 24 February 2008

Minors and young migrants’ involvement in errant mobility and sex work within the European Union

Minors and young migrants’ involvement in errant mobility and sex work within the European Union. By Nick Mai. 2007

The troubling fate of young migrants in Europe is the subject of this research paper by Dr. Nick Mai from the London Metropolitan University, that provides interesting research and an unconventional view on the shortcomings of standard protection mechanisms.

Perhaps, the most important aim of this study is to provide people and institutions carrying out social intervention projects targeting minor and young migrants with strategic qualitative information about their migration projects and the strategies of survival they engage in, with a specific focus on prostitution. With this study, we hope to show that selling sex can be, for some, the only known viable way to meet many combined cultural, economic, psychological and social needs: to be perceived as likeable and successful, to have a sexual outlet, to be independent economically, to find excitement and adventure, to have new experiences, to send money home, to find a suitable accommodation, to receive care and attention, to challenge and receive moral boundaries, to survive, to detach from parents, to grow up.
For social intervention to become an efficient alternative to errance, all of these needs and the reasons and dynamics underlining them must be recognised and addressed at the same time. The research starts from the de-construction of the victimising paradigms (trafficking, exploitation, etc.) shaping research and social intervention targeting unaccompanied minors and errant migrants. Acknowledging the agency of the subjects involved, the complexity of their needs and priority and the reasons at the basis of their affective detachment from ‘home’ is the only way to respond efficiently to their needs through social interventions. (pages 4-5)

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