The EU-CEE countries and the European sex trade

14  June 2018    5:00 pm CEST

Réka Kinga Papp, Media researcher, journalist and performer, Budapest


wiiw, Rahlgasse 3, 1060 Vienna, lecture hall (entrance from the ground floor)


EU-CEE countries are major players in the European domestic sex trade, not only as host countries of exploitative sex tourism and suppliers of domestic ‘clients’, but also as providers of a majority of labour force in Western European countries’ sex markets. An intensive course of gentrification in several urban regions of the EU-CEE countries produced an ever expanding housing crisis. As housing costs skyrocket, many locals are forced out of their original fields of labour or neighbourhoods, which is one important reason for ending up on the sex market of their home countries or those of the West. Local legislations tend to burden sex workers with difficulties, threatening them with excessive fining, persecution and the possibility of forcing their children into state care. While Western tabloid discourses suggest eastern morals are disrupting their cultures, in reality there are a series of social troubles in the background of the booming sex industry.

Réka Kinga Papp is a Hungarian journalist and communications professional specialising in social policy and public policy. She is an author for the Hungarian weekly HVG, an anchor for the political satire indie show ‘Feles’ and for the social science infotainment radio programme ‘Professor Paprika and the Complicated Things’ at Klubrádió, and a frequent commentator on public affairs for the domestic television channels ATV and HirTV. She is a former Milena Jesenká Fellow of IWM, where she researched the Hungarian sex trade. She published her report book on that topic under the title ‘Whoever Enrols As A Whore: Sex Work Stories’ in Hungarian in late 2017. Ms Papp is involved in the advocacy for a number of social causes such as housing rights and human rights of marginalised social groups, and participates in the domestic resistance against the current Hungarian government's attacks on independent NGOs and dissidents.