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Independent researcher @ Independent


Jacqueline Martis is a sociologist, researcher and trainer with a special interest in gender studies and human rights. She also has a strong record of community-based involvement, activism and research on the Dutch Caribbean Islands in the areas of domestic violence, gender and sexuality. She has done research on trafficking in the Netherlands Antilles, for the International Organization of Migration (IOM); researched sex and tourism in Curaçao and St. Maarten in Sun, Sex and Gold (edited by Kamala Kempadoo); and published a study on domestic violence in Curaçao. She is currently doing research on gender, sexuality and violence in Curaçao, among other places. She also and teaches sociology at the police academy and has taught at the University of Curaçao, and gives numerous workshops on human rights, domestic violence intervention and gender and sexuality.

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Politics of Sexuality in the Dutch Caribbean


Sun, Sex and Not so Golden: 25 Years of Research on Sex Trade in Curaçao

This paper describes the changes and continuities in the sex trade in Curaçao. The discussions begin with the 1999 chapter on tourism and the sex trade in St. Maarten and Curaçao, which examined how prostitution is organised in both countries and how the state and other actors are involved in organising the sex trade on the island. While sex tourism played a significant role on other Caribbean islands, it played a minor role on Curaçao - most of the sex trade was between local men and Latina women. This paper will first focus on state control: sex work was regulated and institutionalised in Curaçao. This system made it possible for sex work to take place in state-controlled facilities and for registered sex workers to work as sex workers in other areas. Secondly, sex workers from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean could come to Curaçao and work as sex workers, but Venezuelan women were not officially allowed by their government to come to Curaçao to work as sex workers in the government brothel. Currently, due to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, resulting in a large influx of undocumented Venezuelan women, the COVID pandemic in 2020 and the closure of the state-controlled brothel Campo Alegre there is much more illegal sex trade in bars, snacks, clubs and on the streets, which has various implications for the 37 abuse, violence, trafficking, health problems and human rights of these women. This paper shows the importance of long-term research and activism in sex trade in Curaçao.