2022 Assembly


Towards a more comprehensive understanding of the term ‘Sexual Exploitation.’


Research is currently under way in Europe, with the purpose of arriving at a definition of ‘sexual exploitation’ in order that we understand its broader application beyond human trafficking.
Initiated in January 2017, Project DESIrE (Demand for Sexual Exploitation in Europe) is a two- year research-based study, which explores current definitions of the term ‘sexual exploitation’ and its application, (pp. 5-7). The research then proposes wider definitions of the term, as it applies to not only human trafficking, but also to prostitution, sex-slavery, sex-work/survival sex.
A suggested definition of ‘sexual exploitation’ will be tested throughout the research, which emphasises a collaborative approach to addressing the phenomenon and possible solutions.
A number of initial recommendations include ‘’To further develop a holistic approach to prevention of sexual exploitation by avoiding the use of an individualistic model of responsibility, that puts the whole responsibility of the existence of sexual exploitation on the shoulders of consumers and facilitators by introducing a collective responsibility model where all societal stakeholders, governments included, are responsible for reducing the underlying system of injustice and inequality that fuels sexual exploitation’’ (p.9).
Full research proposal at
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.