The project SEXHUM (Sexual Humanitarianism: Migration, Sex Work and Trafficking) studies the relation between migration, sex work and trafficking in the global sex industry by analysing migrants’ own understandings and experiences of agency and exploitation.

At its core is the concept of ‘sexual humanitarianism’ , referring to the increasing way in which some migrant groups and individuals are understood and targeted by humanitarian concerns, policies and interventions as uniquely and specifically vulnerable in relation to their sexual behaviour, which often legitimises harmful anti-sex work and anti-immigration initiatives.


World Placeholder

SEXHUM adopts an interdisciplinary approach bringing together anthropology, sociology, gender studies, human geography and visual anthropology.

Its innovative methodology combines ethnographic observations, semi-structured interviewing and collaborative ethnographic filmmaking (ethnofiction) to express and analyse migrant sex workers' understandings and experiences of agency and exploitation.


Project supported by
Prof Nicola Mai
Kingston University London Penrhyn Road Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE United Kingdom

Content and images 2020 © Nicola Mai. All rights reserved.