Some of you (those who follow me on facebook, you poor souls) may have heard me agitating about Amnesty International’s draft proposal to decriminalize sex work. This week, a variant of that proposal was voted into policy. This changes nothing for sex workers immediately, however Amnesty’s support enables sex worker rights organizations and other groups to apply pressure to countries to change individual laws that infringe on the rights of sex workers.
In celebration, let me break down 10 ways criminalization and stigma harms sex workers, trafficking victims, and marginalized communities. For those who got bored by my massive post, with links, on the terms that define the sex industry. Visit that post for links on this one; I don’t have another 50+ link research paper bibliography in me. Not when I’ve still got stories to tell, and books to share with you. Also, this is far from a complete list; this issue is exceedingly complex. If you want more information on it, Amnesty’s draft proposal is great, too, containing a plethora of new research.
TW: sexism, racism, abelism, transphobia and homophobia, sexual assault and violence, exploitation, police violence.
Continue reading Sex work and Criminalization: 10 Harms of Criminalization →
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.
Continue reading On Amnesty International’s recommendation to completely decriminalize prostitution and related work (AKA pimping). →