In the Booth with Ruth – Lise Bouvet, PhD Researcher in Gender Studies

“There is no such thing as the ‘right’ to prostitute oneself, only the one to never ever be reduced to become merchandise,” says Lise Bouvet in her interview for Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Lise has been studying prostitution for fifteen years. She has worked for NGOs, and has both field and academic experience. Her research has compared the situations in USA, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Sweden, China and Thailand among other countries.

Ruth Jacobs

Lise Bouvet

How did you become involved in supporting the abolition of prostitution?

Well that’s very simple: I’ve been working on prostitution for fifteen years now, in social sciences, then philosophy. I’ve worked for NGOs too. I have both field and academic experience. I have researched and compared situations in many countries including USA, England, France, Germany, Netherlands of course, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Sweden, China and Thailand.

Things are obvious: the only system that has seen prostitution decrease is the Nordic model for it is a true abolitionist policy. Any public policy that would leave out of its reach one of the three major parts of the prostitution system is bound to fail. Sweden has challenged the major part of the system, which is the john. No johns, no prostitutes, no trafficking, no pimps. It’s as simple as that – and it took me ten years to reach that conclusion!


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