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Talking to Sex Workers About Fighting for Their Rights, Feminism, and More

Women carrying a banner about sex workers' rights in the Capital Pride Parade on August 26, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario.

RH Reality Check recently spoke with sex workers Minnie Scarlet, Darby Hickey, and Violet Rose about what role they think feminism can play in sex workers’ rights, among other issues.

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Steps Forward—and Setbacks—for Sex Workers’ Rights

Sex workers are making enormous progress in terms of advocacy and policy impact. But there is still a long way to go.

This summer, the effort to pass the Women’s Equality Act in New York and the Supreme Court’s decision involving the anti-prostitution pledge that applied to global funding to fight HIV and AIDS had implications for sex workers’ rights.

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Argentina Considers Bills That Could Criminalize Sex Trafficking—But Also Buying Sex

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?

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.

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California’s Prop 35: A Misguided Ballot Initiative Targeting the Wrong People for the Wrong Reasons

Photo: Steve Rhodes/flickr.

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.

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To Address Human Trafficking, the United States Must Take a New Approach

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.

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U.S. Policy and the Unjust Approach to Human Trafficking of the International Justice Mission

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?

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Why Sex Workers Must Be Part of the Global Human Rights Agenda

India's National Network of Sex Workers in the Freedom Festival in Calcutta, India. 07/2012. Photos: Luca Stevenson.

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.

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Bad Laws Hindering the Global Response to HIV

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.

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A Call to Change U.S. Policy on Sex Work and HIV

Kaytee Riek.

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.

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We Can’t Turn the Tide on HIV Without the Participation of Sex Workers

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.

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