On Amnesty International’s recommendation to completely decriminalize prostitution and related work (AKA pimping).

So. Amnesty International just came out in favor of decriminalizing prostitution and related work.

“consensual sexual conduct between adults—which excludes acts that involve coercion, deception, threats, or violence—is entitled to protection from state interference.”

In response, many organizations purported to be anti-trafficking, as well as a great many celebrities, including Anne Hathaway, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Meryl Streep, and Lena Dunham have spoken out against that policy, stating “[We are] deeply troubled by Amnesty’s proposal to adopt a policy that calls for the decriminalization of pimps, brothel owners and buyers of sex — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry.” (The full letter can be downloaded at that link.)

And in the wake of this disagreement, I’m seeing a lot of misunderstandings pop up. So I’m gonna try to clear a few of them up. Massive trigger warning on this: rape, violence toward women, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, racism, poverty, and a host of other issues are gonna come up. Much of this is US centered, however many things also hold true for the global sex trade, though the specifics of the laws may vary.

First, a few terms you’ll need to be familiar with:

SW, Sex Work, or Sex Workers. I’m using this terminology, instead of the more common “prostitute”, since it has a greater flexibility, accounting for people whose work is on other ends of the spectrum, such as Dominatrices or erotic masseuses who don’t “go all the way” as well as full service sex workers. This term may encompass legal forms (Lap dancing at a strip club, in adherence to local policies on nudity, contact, etc.) and illegal forms (Lap dancing at a strip club, while violating those local policies, whether by showing more skin than allowed, allowing more contact, or outright selling sexual acts.) And legal sex work careers are not automatically exempt from “state interference,” so it’s important to include them.
There’s a LOT of diversity to the sex industry, and a lot of different careers and trajectories a sex worker might take, not all of which are illegal. But many sex workers prefer to be referred to as such because it underscores that sex work is a legitimate form of work, for which they deserve the same autonomy on how to conduct their business as if they were employed in any other industry. It also separates consensual sex workers from those who have been trafficked or coerced into it, a distinction that’s often lost in media coverage of the industry.

Criminalization: The act of selling sexual acts and the act of buying sexual acts are illegal, enforced by the state on many levels. Local law enforcement conducts “stings” with undercover cops posing as clients or sex workers, arresting buyers and sellers, while prosecutors, sheriffs, and state legislators attempt to limit the markets sex workers can utilize, the tools they can use to run their businesses, and create a the legal distinction by which a sex worker is either a hardened, unrepentant criminal, or a helpless, trafficked victim.
On a national level, the Department of Justice strong-arms sites used to facilitate safer sex work into bankruptcy, closure, or criminal charges, seeking to hold them accountable for the illegal activity on their sites, whether the encounters arranged were consensual or coerced. Internationally, sex workers may be swept up in “raid and rescues” that are designed to isolate them from networks of “traffickers” and keep them in isolation until they agree to work in another field, with no attention paid to whether they feel they are engaging in sex work consensually.
This includes a lot of troubling aspects, such as the conflation of consensual sex work and sexual trafficking, the disparate way it plays into existing rational and sexual narrative: Sex workers of color and trans women bear the brunt of the arrest and legal punishment, as do street level sex workers, who may often have other factors, too, including mental illness, disability, substance abuse issues, immigration issues, or other things that restrict their economic opportunities. There’s overlap there, but this is by no means intended as me saying all street level sex workers are non-white substance abusers suffering from mental illness. Often, sex workers with less to start out with due to one or more of these factors are unable to advertise online and work indoors, which can afford some degree of security from law enforcement and client violence. When you don’t have a job or in some cases a residence, obtaining access to a computer and enough money to obtain photos to market yourself, to build a website, and place an ad on Eros, well, it’s a very high bar that ensures that many sex workers will never be able to take advantage of newer resources. This lack of support mechanisms contributes to the escalation of violence against street level workers.
In addition, acts perceived to be associated with prostitution are similarly criminalized, with laws intended to curb violent pimps instead used to punish sex workers’ families, landlords, bodyguards, and friends. (1, 2) Some sex workers have even been charged with trafficking themselves, due to overly broad legal wording. (3) Strip clubs may face additional “sin taxes” due to a perceived association with human trafficking, with very little provable connection between the two. (4)
The thing to remember, and I’m bolding this because it’s important is that rape, coercion, theft of wages, and the plethora of other crimes associated with human sexual trafficking are already illegal in most countries. Arresting a SW and making them prove they’re a victim before you’ll make prostitution charges go away, is not protecting trafficking victims. (5) Legally allowing others to support sex workers by screening clients, writing license plates down, waiting at the location while the sex worker goes about her work, and doing many other activities that can ensure that workers’ safety is protected is not going to legalize violent pimps, trafficking rings, or exploitation.
On the contrary; decriminalization of both sexual service providers and clients enlists many previously criminalized people in the anti-trafficking fight. If a sex worker doesn’t fear being arrested themselves, or having the report brushed off, they can report a manager’s violence or exploitation. And if they see it happening to others, they can report it then, too. Clients and sex workers should be law enforcements’ best friends in rooting out sex traffickers, but criminalization prevents that. And when sex workers repeatedly report that the most significant threats to their safety and autonomy come not from pimps, or clients, but from law enforcement (LE), it undermines the relationship between sex workers and the police further. (6, 7)

Decriminalization/Decrim: As Amnesty International explains, it allows sex workers to ply their trade with the full protection of the law— no more, no less. If a client stiffs a SW or rapes her, she can report it to the police without fearing that they’ll arrest her for illegal activities present in the incident. If she wishes to pay someone to assist her in her work, she can do so without fearing they will be punished as a pimp or trafficker. It allows sex workers to use safer sex practices, without worrying that a policemen will see the condoms in their purse as evidence of an intent to commit illegal sexual activities. Decriminalization isn’t perfect, as even when the sex worker is within her rights, law enforcement may be less likely to act on her reports, due to existing stigma toward the industry. (8) But it’s a starting point to begin reducing the stigma, and to focus law enforcement not on chasing sex workers and traffickers through the underground industry, but investigating the actual charges related to violence and coercion. Decriminalization would allow full service sex workers to advocate for themselves under the law the way that other legal sex workers have, such as strippers protesting wage theft due to their clubs improperly classifying them as independent contractors. (9, 10, 11) Areas such as New Zealand and Australia that do some manner of decriminalization allow sex workers to seek legal redress if a client rapes them, including lying about condom use or nonpayment. (12) Compare that to the US, where a sex worker gang-raped at gunpoint found the charges against her main assailant reduced to “theft of services.” (13)

Swedish model/Nordic model/End Demand/Partial Decriminalization: This model is advocated by anti-trafficking organizations and a number of countries, but is generally met with disapproval from the sex worker community. This model says that sex workers are blameless— often using conservative religious or second-wave feminist rhetoric. Its adherents decry the “pimp lobby”(14) and label all dissenting sex worker voices as selfishly “happy hookers” or says that they must have a “false consciousness”, because no one would CHOOSE sex work. Therefore all sex workers should be treated as victims of their clients. Clients are punished instead. The act of selling sexual acts is legal, however the act of buying them is criminal. It is advocated by people who do not wish to see a legal sex industry, and who hope to kill it completely by eroding the client base.
It sounds palatable and humane, assuming you agree with the abolitionism inherent in its goals- until you listen to sex worker complaints that under this model the brunt of protecting their clients from legal repercussions falls on their shoulders, forcing them to stroll secluded areas, make jump decisions about whether or not to accept a client without having time to evaluate any red flags, and more. (15) With more time before they get in his car, a worker can visually evaluate whether their prospective client is drunk, high, overly aggressive in negotiating, and other things that might point to possible violence later, and the worker can decide to turn down that client. If they are working with a friend, there’s more time for the friend to note details about the car that may be relevant to LE if the worst does happen. Given this, it’s not surprising that studies show that the Nordic Model has not substantially reduced violence against sex workers. (16) It also does nothing to address the stigma against sex workers, stigma that can result in them losing custody of their children, or having a difficult time finding employment when they leave the industry, or even being deported because of their occupation. (17) It changes the kinds of harassment sex workers face from LE, compared to countries who criminalize prostitution, but they do ultimately still face intentional harassment from the state, including when reporting crimes committed against them. (18)

Legalization: This model is tossed about a lot as a compromise, but it still comes with its own problems. Legalization entails the sale and purchase of sexual services being legal— in specific circumstances. (19) The specifics vary by country and law, but here’s examples of fairly common ones. These policies might include forcing sex workers to pay for unnecessarily frequent medical exams out of pocket, or buy licenses that require a legal name that throws up barriers for genderqueer sex workers whose legal paperwork may not match their working identity. These rules often demand sex work happen behind closed doors, which impacts sex workers who are homeless, poorer workers who may have no transportation to work in a legal brothel, or workers who don’t want to see clients in their home. These barriers would also exclude underage sex workers, or those who have mental illness or drug problems, forcing them into the same underground industry that exists today.
Prohibition doesn’t end criminalized behavior, it only drives it underground. We already know that, because that’s the system we have now in the US, and many parts of the world. A homeless seventeen year old LGBT person with no other way to bring in money, and no other resources will still engage in survival sex work to have a roof over their head. (20) And they’ll still be preyed on by people who know that the underage person wasn’t supposed to be doing it, and will have few recourses when they’re exploited, abused, or assaulted. A drug user who engages in SW to afford their drug of choice isn’t going to stop doing it just because they’re legally denied the license to work in a legal brothel because of prior drug convictions. A SW who can’t find a home with their criminal record is going to have to ply their trade on the street, and may still be arrested, if prostitution is only legalized behind closed doors, as it was briefly in Rhode Island.

Now that we’ve got our vocabulary straight, I want to clear a very strong misconception up. As similar as Amnesty International’s policy appears to that of those protesting it, they are radically different. Amnesty is supporting full decriminalization, as described above. Those protesting Amnesty advocate partial decriminalization, what’s described above as the Swedish/Nordic model, which leaves sex workers out in the cold, both consensual ones and trafficked ones. Partial decriminalization is not the same as full decriminalization, and wreaks measurable ills on the lives of sex workers as described above. Partial decriminalization only holds the sex worker harmless if they can prove in the eyes of the law that they’re truly a victim. And anyone who’s seen even a few statistics on the reporting and prosecution of sexual violence knows how few of those victims even manage to pass legal muster. 30% of rapes are reported to police, but only 2% of rapists see jail time. (21)
Sex work has a very long and complicated history that ties in with a lot of other long and complicated histories. The US anti-sex work bent emerged leaning on racialized narratives about protecting the purity of white women. (22) These still reverberate through the legal system; women of color and trans women are more likely to be convicted for street level prostitution, which also comes with a plethora of dangers, much lower wages, and less flexibility to take safety and health precautions. Once these sex workers are in the legal system they’re more likely to be deemed knowing participants, rather than have the presumption of victimhood that many white sex workers benefit from. They’re more likely to be stopped and searched, and punished for carrying condoms or “walking while trans.” (23, 24)
Globally, the narrative gets even more confusing, relying on narratives about sinister foreign traffickers kidnapping girls and drugging them into engaging in SW; docile Asian women being coerced into servicing white foreigners, or smuggled into a foreign country, forced to work, and not being permitted to keep any earnings. A mishmash of the most sensationalist images that appeal to both white savior complexes, and xenophobic fears about “them” coming for your kids. These narratives are then parlayed into being the sole face of trafficking, rather than a fifty year old immigrant whose passport is torn up by the family whose house she cleans, who then force her to work live-in without pay, or the young Thai men forced to work on fishing ships, then tossed overboard if they are injured or sick. Sex trafficking is a comparatively small part of trafficking, and its victims often report fewer negative mental or physical effects than those trafficked into other sectors. (25) But they get the majority of the funding and attention even though the documentation on sex trafficking’s seriousness is routinely inaccurate. (26, 27, 28) The anti-trafficking cause has been affectionately nicknamed the “rescue industry” by sex workers, for its condescending, paternalistic view that all sex workers are fragile young women who just need you to save them, and for the coercive tactics they often employ.
These NGOs and outreach efforts rarely offer direct services to trafficking survivors, (29, 30) and often support the “raid and save” policy endorsed by George W. Bush’s administration.(31) Raid and saves consist of capturing all sex workers in a brothel/collective by force, transporting them elsewhere, and coercing them into “normal” jobs, such as garment work, regardless of whether the sex worker was genuinely trafficked or had voluntarily chosen sex work over other employment. (32) Raid and save operations often fray relationships with local communities, and can in fact make it more difficult for sex workers to access humanitarian aid. (33) In addition, violence is frequently used against the sex workers during this process. (34) These raids also bear the uncomfortable trappings of a lot of Colonial or Imperial thinking, as they blatantly disregard the practices of communities they intervene in. (35, 36)
Ask a sex worker or a sex trafficking victim what’s needed for them to be able to leave the industry, the answers come down to some complex things: other work having worse conditions, the stigma of sex work or a prostitution record locking them out of other employment, not having legal immigration status, being physically or mentally unable to work the other jobs, the risk of being tracked by an abusive partner if they’re ‘in the system’, other work not paying enough, sometimes compounded by needing to make enough to send money home to their family. (37, 38) A trafficking victim might have other needs too, such as needing reassurance that they will be believed about what happened when they report it— same as any other sex worker reporting violence against her— and protection from their trafficker. But all of this is much more complex than the “she needs to have not been trafficked” answer suggested by Raid and Rescue solutions.
And again, all of that assumes the sex worker wants a change in career. There’s many positive things workers may find in sex work, such as: finding the work often enjoyable or empowering, preferring to work fewer hours and have more time to spend with their families, liking being their own bosses, and even seeing their cultivated skillset as being genuinely useful beyond the immediate sex work. Very few workers fall on the poles of the debate— the “happy hookers” and traumatized victims— and what’s left, what most of them share, is the same mental mixed bag any other worker has. Some things you like, some things you don’t, and when the dislikes outnumber the likes, you look for other work. Hence the focus on stigma, and overall economic opportunity.
Those seeking to reduce the numbers of sex workers would be better off fighting other social causes to strengthen the social net, and provide more general economic opportunity and social capital to all people. This would ensure that there’s other viable economic opportunities for those who don’t wish to work in the sex industry. It also means fighting institutionalized racism, fighting transphobia and homophobia that turns LGBT people away from homeless shelters (39), or prevents them from seeking support from their communities or affording necessary medical care. Advocate for housing or shelter policies that don’t turn sex workers and trafficking victims away because a prostitution conviction has labeled them “sex offenders.” (40) Advocate for a higher living wage, and make it unsustainable for companies that rely on trafficked or underpaid labor. Advocate against all police violence, including violence directed at trans women, women of color, and sex workers. But crying “save the prostitutes from those who’d spend money for their services” isn’t doing anyone any good, least of all the victims you’re ostensibly speaking for.
Our acceptance of anti-trafficking/sex work abolitionist narratives is only complicated further by our ideas about what it means to be a victim. Many of the voices speaking loudest to give the rescue industry authenticity are at best confused, at worst falsified. (41) Somaly Mam received great acclaim for her work, as a former sex trafficking survivor. (42) But her compelling backstory simply isn’t true. (43, 44) Same with Chong Kim, whose story the movie Eden was based upon. (45) Many survivors’ stories become radicalized over time as they participate in the anti-trafficking community, sometimes with coaching, as Mam appears to have done with those she rescued. (46) We want to hear sensationalized narratives about “good victims” tolerating outrageous abuse, their behavior unassailable. Not gray stories that detail lack of economic agency, generational poverty, domestic abuse, police violence, and tough choices.
In addition, many sex workers who go on to enter academia report similar, that if they are “out” about their history, they are pressured to downplay it as “bad decisions”, or to undercut their agency in choosing to do said work, lest they be branded unprofessional. (47) Some have even been told that their work in the sex industry, even if they were not a full service sex worker, conflicts with the institution’s behavioral policies, and they have been forced to choose between their job and educational advancement. (48) And with very little funding being given to projects that focus on sex work, on trans health, and on a host of other issues that intersect with sex work, there simply aren’t widely recognized numbers to be able to counter the rescue industry’s statistics, despite numerous breakdowns showing their flawed methodology and conclusions. (49) Many academics seeking to study sex work and trafficking from a sex worker’s rights’ perspective have to seek funding through outside sources, such as crowdfunding and encounter substantial resistance. (50)
There’s a lot of fallout due to social stigmas against sex work, such as laws allowing landlords to evict sex workers as nuisance tenants without due legal process,(51) bias in child custody proceedings,(52) employers such as schools being able to fire former or current sex workers with few or no repercussions at a moment’s notice. And criminalizing sex work and those who employ sex workers makes these biases law, with disastrous effects on the lives of sex workers.
This stigma further infiltrates the way that law enforcement looks at and treats sex workers. Many US police departments use the acronym “NHI”, which stands for No Human Involved, to note that reported crimes against sex workers, homeless people, drug users, minority communities, etc. are not worthy of being investigated. (53, 54) Serial killers such as the Green River Killer frequently target sex workers as victims and use that lack of concern over sex workers’ lives, recognizing them to be easy targets. (55) And killers predating on sex workers never goes out of fashion. Just a few weeks ago, a sex worker was attacked by a client. She killed her attacker in self-defense, and law enforcement discovered a probable connection to the deaths of many, many more sex workers, as well as plans to kill other sex workers after her. (56) All of this acts doubly to silence and further marginalize those who have experienced trafficking, by removing avenues of support and convincing them that there’s no help out there.
Decriminalization allows sex workers to share information that can lead to these kinds of criminals being captured much sooner, and that can steer other sex workers away from them. A number of the sites that sex industry abolitionists and anti-traffickers have targeted recently, such as MyRedBook, Backpage, and even the old school Craigslist adult services section, were necessary to sex worker safety. They protected both clients and providers by allowing them to negotiate with the barriers of time and space buffering sex workers from any possible violence, and gave sex workers time to measure whether they felt comfortable setting up a transaction, and research their client. MyRedBook even allowed sex workers and clients to exchange information on “bad dates”, or people who misrepresented themselves. (57, 58, 59) This ability, for sex workers to organize, share, protect is everything. One study found that sex workers who felt more social cohesion with other sex workers were much less likely to engage in risky transactions. (60, 61)
I’m going to diverge from the more academic tone I’ve been trying to take, here, to share with you a personal story. Way back when, when I was freelancing in a legal sex work related field, I accepted a booking. I did my due diligence, asking my prospective client for the names and emails of people who had formerly contracted for the kind of work I was going to do for him. I contacted them, and received multiple positive responses back, affirming his professionalism, and leading me to believe that it was going to be an acceptable and lucrative experience. I went to the gig, and right from the beginning, the experience was off: not a professional setting, him pushing things in far different directions than we had discussed in advance. It never rose to the level of sexual assault or anything that would have put me in a much tougher position, but it was drastically different from the environment I had believed I would be working in, and was a thoroughly unpleasant experience.
Later, I ran into the people he had referred me to, as it was a fairly small community, and discovered that he had falsely created emails in their name, which he supplied to me, and had thus forged those recommendations, to convince me to take the gig. This is where having an above-ground community REALLY helps to protect those in it. No safety measure can be 100% certain, but allowing sex workers to choose which they can use provides them much more safety than having five minutes to decide whether the guy whose car they’re about to get in is a cop or a rapist.
After that incident, I insisted on receiving recommendations over a phone conversation. I would contact the previous workers over the email provided, state what I was looking for— a general “yes he’s fine” or “I can’t recommend working with him”, no details needed or exchanged— and leave my phone number for them to call me. Enough people knew me in that community to be willing to talk to me. Not everyone responded, and it wasn’t a firm thing for accepting the booking if there were no other red flags, but I did turn down bookings because of those revised security tactics. And I never had another experience that felt as troubling as that one. Sex workers are constantly evaluating their safety and security, and adjusting accordingly. And the more community support they have at their back, the more skillfully they can advocate for themselves.
Sex workers understand perfectly well that these are our bodies and lives. Boosting sex workers’ autonomy and collective strength enables sex workers to negotiate for safer sex practices, and weed out exploitative behaviors without having to sort through a mire of laws and law enforcement agencies who often do not have their best interests at heart. And this is where legalization falls short and partial decriminalization falls flat. Because when we criminalize HIV nondisclosure, even in patients who have been treated and assessed as unable to transmit the disease, due to stigma rooted in outdated medicine (62) and ingrained biases against communities with larger than average percentages of exposure to it (63), how are we ever going to legislate the sex industry? In the US, and in many parts of the world, we can’t even teach comprehensive sex ed (64) or ensure that women have access to the full range of health care (65); how the hell are we going to put a system in place that accounts for survival sex work, homelessness, institutionalized racism, substance abuse, mental illness, transphobia, and lack of access to HIV testing?
The truth is you can’t legislate around these issues. Even legalization or partial decriminalization leave sex workers and trafficking victims alike vulnerable to exploitation, and excluded from the kinds of social programs that might help those who want out of sex work or to leave an exploitative situation. The only way to help sex workers is to let them have the tools and resources to protect themselves, and to look out for others.
These are our bodies, and our lives. We literally have skin in the game. The only way to help is by empowering sex workers. By enabling them to say what they want and need, and listening.
Amnesty’s recommendations were formed after listening to the sex worker community, and represent a huge step forward on a lot of levels. Not all sex workers have good experiences or bad experiences; most fall in the middle. But on this one, it’s pretty damn clear. I respect all of the celebrities who’ve chosen to speak their hearts on this, but what’s in your hearts pales compared to the facts, and the lived experience of people who’ve been there. Your voices aren’t the the most important ones in this conversation, so please, stop shouting down sex workers who have lived these experiences.

If you are interested in learning more about the sex industry, I recommend following Tits and Sass(http://titsandsass.com/). For dead tree resources, I’d give the $pread anthology a look, as well as Laura Augustin’s Sex At The Margins, and Melissa Gira Grant’s Playing the Whore. The commentary offered here is by no means comprehensive. And there’s far more articulate and experienced people than I discussing the intricacies of it. And if you want to show your support for Amnesty, there’s a petition here.

1. http://reason.com/blog/2014/10/24/oakland-landlords-can-evict-sex-workers
2. https://oaklandnorth.net/2012/11/19/california-voted-yes-on-prop-35-experts-police-and-sex-workers-disagree-on-impact/
3. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/12/alaskas-prostitution-law-isnt-working/383818/
4. http://www.wptv.com/news/state/florida-considers-sin-taxes-for-strip-clubs
5. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/18/sex-trafficking-prostitution-charges_n_7119474.html
6. http://www.alternet.org/gender/letter-my-rapist-jailed-raping-women-who-are-more-respectable-i-am
7. http://www.alternet.org/culture/compelling-case-decriminalizing-sex-work
8. http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/04/30/prostitution-sexual-violence-and-the-police-breaking-my-silence-trigger-warning-sexual-assault-rape/
9. http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-23812-the_devils_due_two_dancers_sue_strip_club_casa_diablo_for_unpaid_wages_and_harassment.html
10. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/11/18/strippers_in_new_york_sue_rick_s_cabaret_win_10_million_in_back_pay.html
11. http://consumerist.com/2014/01/15/more-strippers-sue-club-owners-to-be-treated-like-employees/
12. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-06/man-jailed-for-rape-after-tricking-sex-worker/6075496
13. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/judge-deems-prostitute-gang-rape-robbery-article-1.259433
14. http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-pimp-lobby-292
15. http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2015/02/02/sex-workers-write-open-letter-to-lawmakers-over-end-demand-bills
16. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2014/01/03/the-nordic-model-of-prostitution-law-is-a-myth/
17. http://www.salon.com/2013/08/17/the_whore_stigma_how_the_law_perpetuates_our_hatred_and_fear_of_prostitutes_partner/
18. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121981/northern-ireland-sex-work-law-based-wrong-model
19. http://time.com/3005687/what-the-swedish-model-gets-wrong-about-prostitution/
20. http://www.newsweek.com/lgbt-survival-sex-gay-lesbian-transgender-309123
21. https://rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates
22. http://www.alternet.org/sex-amp-relationships/snuff-films-white-slavery-and-trafficking-americas-history-hysterical-sex-fear
23. http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2014/04/15/arizona-activist-found-guilty-walking-while-trans
24. http://www.refinery29.com/2015/07/91087/meagan-taylor-transgender-arrested
25. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0LM00220150218?irpc=932
26. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/03/27/lies-damned-lies-and-sex-work-statistics/
27. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/alison-bass/human-trafficking_b_7236194.html
28. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/06/02/the-false-claim-that-child-sex-trafficking-is-a-9-5-billion-business-in-the-united-states/
29. http://www.thenation.com/article/crusade-against-sex-trafficking/
30. http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/sex-worker-8-minutes-fundraiser/
31. http://www.vice.com/read/sex-trafficking-how-i-survived-foster-care
32. Empower Foundation: Tsunami Report: Sex Workers In South Thailand, as published in $pread, Issue 1.1, 2005
33. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgPfz9ydEp4
34. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/kristof-fighting-back-one-brothel-raid-at-a-time.html
35. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-henry-sterry/everything-you-think-you-_b_4086449.html
36. Chanelle Gallant: Empower: In Defense Of Sex Tourism, as published in $pread, Issue 4.2, 2008
37. http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/sex-worker-8-minutes-fundraiser/
38. Melissa Ditmore and Juhu Thukral: Bodies Across Borders: Experiences of Trafficking and Migration, as published in $pread, Issue 2.4, 2007
39. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/report/2010/08/10/8224/nowhere-to-go/
40. http://www.masslegalhelp.org/housing/reasons-for-denial
41. http://thesocietypages.org/sexuality/2015/03/08/how-popular-sex-trafficking-stories-like-abduction-of-eden-justify-bad-policy-and-hurt-sex-workers/
42. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/kristof-fighting-back-one-brothel-raid-at-a-time.html
43. http://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/30/somaly-mam-holy-saint-and-sinner-sex-trafficking-251642.html
44. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24827
45. http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/eden-was-a-scary-movie-about-sex-trafficking-based-on-a-true-storyandmdashor-was-it/Content?oid=21234470
46. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/world/asia/cambodian-activists-fall-exposes-broad-deception.html
47. http://titsandsass.com/the-price-of-knowledge-discrimination-against-sex-workers-in-academia/
48. http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/portland-sex-worker-zine-working-it/
49. Mack Friedman: Epidemic of Neglect: Trans Women Sex Workers And HIV, as published in $pread, Issue 2.1, 2006
50. https://www.patreon.com/TaraBurns?rf=625244&ty=h
51. http://reason.com/blog/2014/10/24/oakland-landlords-can-evict-sex-workers
52. http://www.salon.com/2013/08/17/the_whore_stigma_how_the_law_perpetuates_our_hatred_and_fear_of_prostitutes_partner/
53. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-17878180
54. http://www.huckmagazine.com/art-and-culture/film-2/la-serial-killer-lonnie-franklin-allowed-go-killing-25-years/
55. http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Green-River-Killer-confesses-1128925.php
56. http://www.people.com/article/sex-worker-killed-alleged-serial-killer-saved-lives-cops
57. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-prostitution-website-federal-prison-20150522-story.html
58. http://www.vice.com/read/the-fbi-shut-down-myredbook-and-thats-dangerous-for-sex-workers-717
59. http://titsandsass.com/what-the-hell-is-going-on-with-backpage-part-ii/#more-20254
60. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/sex-industry/new-zealand-is-the-best-country-to-work-as-a-prostitute-says-sex-worker-advocacy-group-10267685.html
61. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/social-cohesion-help-sex-workers-say-no-to-risky-transactions-study/article25639545/
62. http://www.hivlawandpolicy.org/resources/ending-and-defending-against-hiv-criminalization-state-and-federal-laws-and-prosecutions
63. http://www.npr.org/2015/07/26/426492744/transgender-women-face-inadequate-health-care-shocking-hiv-rates
64. https://www.theatlantic.com/past/politics/family/failure.htm
65. http://www.nwlc.org/our-issues/health-care-%2526-reproductive-rights/birth-control/threats-to-birth-control-access

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