Is it ever helpful, in policy terms, to lump together trafficking and sexual exploitation with the buying and selling of sexual services between consenting adults? This is the question in Argentina right now.
California voters hold the power this Election Day to decide if many thousands of people convicted of prostitution-related offenses in their state must now register as sex offenders.
We continue to push President Barack Obama to recognize trafficking for what it is and not get mixed up in the politics of advocates who are not as focused on addressing the climate of fear and coercion endured by so many workers around the world.
When you picture a human rights defender, are they carrying handcuffs? Are they removing you from your home or workplace and directing you into a police van?
If we intend to develop policies that are fair and just, we must collaborate with sex workers themselves to afford them the dignity that they and all of us deserve. It’s time for sex workers’ rights to be an integrated part of the global human rights agenda.
The US immigration rules place restrictions on the ability of sex workers and people who use drugs to enter the country. These rules are but one example of the many ways in which national and international laws, regulations and policies are impacting on the HIV vulnerability of most at-risk groups across the world.
The U.S. law that prohibits sex workers and drug users from attending the IAC from abroad is a frightening sign of the times. As co-directors of two U.S-based sex workers rights organizations, we stand with sex workers in their global fight for rights.
We will loudly advocate for the recognition of sex work as work, we will oppose the criminalization of sex work, and support the freedom of sex workers to self-organization and self-determination. In the absence of all these freedoms, HIV prevention policies, programs and efforts will remain ineffective.
Rights-based public health measures should seek to protect all people from HIV infection, and provide those who are HIV-positive with the tools to live healthier lives.
Greece has been in the news for prosecuting HIV positive sex workers and posting the women’s photographs on the Internet. The Greek health authorities and many other governments and local authorities that have taken similar actions against sex workers have both the human rights and the public health very wrong.