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This article weaves together three dimensions of sex trafficking, notably commercial sex as violence against women, as a livelihood option, and as part of the social formation of an inter-state system of transaction of sex as a commodity. Based on data from Europe, the article shows how analysis of violence against women in commercial sex must be taken beyond the workplace and located in social processes that precede it — economic policy of transition and intra-state violence that undermine women’s human insecurity in their daily lives. Diverse forms of violence at the workplace are outcomes of the treatment of women as a commodity on the labor market through unethical self-regulating recruitment systems, as well as an ineffective regulation of migration and commercial sex. Responses to this problem at EU level could benefit from a human security framework sensitive to existing sex/gender systems and their dynamics.