An Exploration of the Literature on the Sex Work Industry and the Case for Labour Rights for Commercial Sex Workers in Jamaica

Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Rashalee MITCHELL, The University of the West Indies Mona campus, Jamaica, Jamaica
An exploration of the literature on the sex work industry locates it as one which is lucrative at global regional and national levels, there is some indication that technology, primarily the internet helped this growth, though data is limited, and that there is a thriving tourism sex economy in Jamaica. In general the literature speaks around gender roles, survival strategies, cuts across race, class, ethnicity, youth, and age. It also highlights the perception of many that there is an inherent immorality in sex work which arguably has shaped the old laws of prostitution in the Caribbean.

The aim of this presentation is to further clarify and explore the definitions of sex work, the various classifications of sex workers, and the implications of labour rights for commercial sex workers in Jamaica. The literature highlights several points of debate in this regard which include but are not limited to: legality vs. illegality, why the issue should be explored if it’s illegal, the possible ways the individuals and the country can benefit if it were to be regulated among other things and the question of whether sex workers are demeaned or empowered.