On December 17, sex workers will converge in Washington, D.C. for a National March for Sex Worker Rights where marchers “will take a stand for justice, and the freedom to do sex work safely.”
In the global crisis of violence against women, there is a heated debate about the best way to approach the issues at the intersection of HIV/AIDS and human trafficking. Advocates of “harm elimination” push the abolishment of sexual slavery, trafficking, and prostitution. Those who believe in “harm reduction” are working to ameliorate the HIV/AIDS crisis in a pre-existing negative situation.
Proposition K, San Francisco’s measure to prohibit the use of public funds to enforce laws criminalizing prostitution, would change the landscape for sex workers in the city in critical ways.
Hundreds of women of the 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Syria have turned to prostitution. But advocates understand it for what it really is – “survival sex.”
Around the world, people turn to sex work in the hopes of earning a living wage – and maybe even to support their families. But misguided policies routinely deny them that right.
Science-based approach to HIV prevention returns to South Africa; Indian authors tell real stories of HIV epidemic in India; New cream could help women quietly protect themselves against HIV; Catholic university orders NPR station to stop accepting underwriting from Planned Parenthood; A mother’s final look at life.
Sex workers’ health care is often sacrificed on the altar of U.S. funding.
Rather than targeting the most at-risk populations, ideological provisions in PEPFAR marginalize sex workers and all women. The next administration can take the ideology out.
HIV prevention programs for sex workers are most effective when they develop trust and affirm dignity. The prostitution pledge puts the best programs at risk.
A leading figure in the Christian right anti-trafficking establishment, Linda Smith embodies the tensions between feminists and religious right activists working on this issue.