PRO Senteret: The impact of COVID-19 on migrants who sell sex

Persons who sell sex have been disproportionately affected by the strict measures implemented by authorities in order to curb the COVID-19 infection rate. Due to the clandestine nature of sex work, very few persons who sell sex were included in in the aid packages authorities launched in order to mitigate the negative economic impact of the measures. In addition, the demand for sexual services has gone down dramatically.

In Norway, as well as in other Northern and Western European countries, migrants now make up the majority of persons who sell sex. Many are transient, i.e. travel from home countries to Norway, or between several European countries.

For non-residents, few welfare services are accessible in Norway, especially since many lacks a European health insurance card. Further, due to travel restrictions during the pandemic, travel both to and from Norway was and are severely restricted.

Pro Sentret invites students of International social welfare and health policy to conduct a study on the topic of the impact of COVID-19 on migrants who sell sex. Suggestions for interesting research topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial strategies
  • Travel strategies
  • Mitigating risk of infection of COVID-19

Data gathering: Social- and health workers at Pro Sentret will available for shorter and longer interviews.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the student must be aware that situation may change rapidly, and that interviews may need to be conducted on digital platforms.

Pro Sentret can only accept one student, or two students working together. Students interested in pursuing this project must be aware that candidates will need to be interviewed by staff before reaching an agreement with Pro Sentret.

We also advise all students interested in this project to read Pro Sentret’s report The exclusion of persons who sell sexual services in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic: Experiences from the field in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark (download: https://prosentret.no/ny-rapport-fra-pro-sentret-new-report-from-pro-sentret/).

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