The ideas for this paper have emerged over the course of the past two years in which I have sought to combine my academic research on traffi cking and sex work with participatory action research 1 and human rights activism. The latter has brought me into contact with a spate of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), both in the Netherlands 2 and the United States, 3 which provide advocacy and social services to sex workers and traffi cked persons, most of whom are women.