It's time to get off the fence on sex workers’ rights
You cannot effectively combat human trafficking within the commercial sex sector without taking a stand on basic regulatory questions
NEW FEATURE: Get off the fence on sex workers' rights
Freedom Network USA now supports sex workers’ rights
Jean Bruggeman goes deep to explain why her organisation is getting off the fence and is backing sex workers’ rights
Published in:Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: VideoWebinar: Time to get off the fence on sex workers' rights
Why does the anti-trafficking sector hesitate to support sex workers' rights, and what could change that?
Institutionalised victimhood: the ‘progressive’ alternative for sex work in the Philippines
With a sex workers’ movement stifled and potential allies silenced, the conversation around the ‘Nordic model’ looks...
The common cause of drug reform and sex workers’ rights
Supporting sex workers’ rights shouldn’t feel like a reach for the drug reform movement. Both exist to reduce the...
Choosing between access and sex workers’ rights in Portugal
Anti-trafficking NGOs in Portugal have entered into a neoliberal bargain where political neutrality on sex workers’...
Fence-sitting and its discontents: the fear of taking a stand on sex work in the US
The terrain for sex worker activism in the United States has been shaped by the silence of those who fear the...
There is no neutral position on whether sex work is work
'Neutrality’ is based on the assumptions of the anti-sex work camp, which makes abstention a political stance in its...
Published in:Beyond Trafficking and Slavery: InvestigationLost in translation: do anti-trafficking organisations reflect their employees' views on commercial sex?
What do staff at anti-trafficking organisations in the United Kingdom think about sex work? Are their personal...
Why Freedom United supports the decriminalisation of sex work
The evidence is clear that to build resilience to human trafficking in the sex industry, decriminalisation is the...
The anti-trafficking movement has left sex workers behind
Anti-trafficking NGOs need to take a stance on sex work – or they will just keep harming us.
Criminalising sex workers’ clients makes trafficking worse
Andrew Wallis, the CEO of Unseen, tells us what he really thinks about attempts to introduce Nordic-style...
The importance of unpopularity: taking a position on law and policy on sex work
Anti-trafficking work runs aground wherever it tries to avoid taking a position on sex work
How can advocates effectively speak about and argue for decriminalised sex work?
New Zealand Prostitutes Collective
The Red Van
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women
English Collective of Prostitutes
Women With A Vision
Warrior Women’s Association of Brazil
AMMAR Cordoba Argentina
This discussion was financially supported by Humanity United.
What is the best strategy for ensuring that people who sell sex are protected? Should the state ban it entirely? Should it allow the sale of sex but not its purchase, as the increasingly widespread ‘Nordic’ model does? Or decriminalise it altogether? These questions are endlessly repeated, but for sex workers themselves the debate is long over: only decriminalisation increases their safety. We believe them, so this is where our new series begins.
We invited sex workers and their allies around the world to share their experiences advocating for decriminalisation on openDemocracy. We also sought out stories from organisations that used to oppose decriminalising sex work but now support it. Our goal was to find out what works, what doesn’t and how it can be done better.
The response exceeds all our expectations. Sex workers and migrants have been organising against exploitation and abuse for a very long time, so any conversation about different strategies should prioritise their expertise and experience.
Managing Editor, Beyond Trafficking and Slavery
Don’t call it ‘sex trafficking’
‘Sex trafficking’ isn’t a sub-category of human trafficking, but a rhetorical ploy designed to delegitimate sex work...
Long read: How the Nordic model in France changed everything for sex workers
In 2019, 10 sex workers were killed in France in the span of six months. Critics say that the Nordic model and its...
Sex workers’ response to the pandemic proves they aren’t society’s victims
Sex workers have long been portrayed as victims of patriarchy and trafficking, but their quick mobilisation to...
COVID-19 illuminates discriminatory sex work policies
Scotland, Ireland and New Zealand have dealt with sex workers very differently during the pandemic, and the results...
Causing harm while trying to help women in sex work
A new campaign tries to educate well-meaning people on why they often end up harming sex workers, even when they're...
Debunking ‘Super Bowl sex trafficking’
Effective outreach changed how the media reported on ‘sex trafficking’ for the 2018 Super Bowl. Will the lesson stick?