'There are a lot of new people in town: But they are here for soccer, not for business' a qualitative inquiry into the impact of the 2010 soccer world cup on sex work in South Africa
International Centre for Reproductive Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, Ghent 9000, Belgium; African Centre for Migration and Society, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Centre for International Health, Burnet Institute 85 Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Background: Sports mega-events have expanded in size, popularity and cost. Fuelled by media speculation and moral panics, myths proliferate about the increase in trafficking into forced prostitution as well as sex work in the run-up to such events. This qualitative enquiry explores the perceptions of male, female and transgender sex workers of the 2010 Soccer World Cup held in South Africa, and the impact it had on their work and private lives.Methods: A multi-method study design was employed. Data consisted of 14 Focus Group Discussions, 53 sex worker diaries, and responses to two questions in surveys with 1059 male, female and transgender sex workers in three cities.Results: Overall, a minority of participants noted changes to the sex sector due to the World Cup and nothing emerged on the feared increases in trafficking into forced prostitution. Participants who observed changes in their work mainly described differences, both positive and negative, in working conditions, income and client relations, as well as police harassment. The accounts of changes were heterogeneous - often conflicting in the same research site and across sites.Conclusions: No major shifts occurred in sex work during the World Cup, and only a few inconsequential changes were noted. Sports mega-events provide strategic opportunities to expand health and human rights programmes to sex workers. The 2010 World Cup missed that opportunity. © 2014 Richter et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
human rights; morality; parallel economy; perception; prostitution; sport; trafficking; working conditions; behavioral response; health impact; social impact; strategic approach; adult; article; female; female worker; human; male; multimethod study; police; priority journal; prostitution; qualitative research; sexual harassment; sexual minority; soccer; social participation; South Africa; sporting event; threat; transsexuality; work environment; young adult; Article; assault; health program; health survey; human relation; human rights; income; legal aspect; perception; sex trafficking; sexual behavior; social aspect; South Africa; transgender; human trafficking; information processing; prostitution; psychology; statistics and numerical data; South Africa; Adult; Female; Focus Groups; Human Trafficking; Humans; Male; Prostitution; Qualitative Research; Sex Workers; Soccer; South Africa; Young Adult