Home The Week in Links The Week In Links–May 3rd

The Week In Links–May 3rd

Albert Yau from the org Midnight Blue joins a May Day rally in Hong Kong to promote the rights of male sex workers. (photo by Ernest Kao)
Albert Yau from the org Midnight Blue joins a May Day rally in Hong Kong to promote the rights of male sex workers. (photo by Ernest Kao)

Sex workers from Kolkata took to the streets for May Day, demanding legalization and changes to the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act. Mexican sex workers also held a march in Mexico City.

Several prominent sex worker organisations have been denied permission to intervene in the Supreme Court Bedford v. Canada appeal on June 13th. In a press statement from Maggie’s, Stella and POWER, Canadian sex worker coalition spokesperson and Stella director Émilie Laliberté  stated that “The Supreme Court of Canada’s unwillingness to take the voices and perspectives of sex workers into account — in a hearing on laws with a major impact on their safety and dignity — is incomprehensible to us.”

A MSNBC op ed piece illustrates the Obama administration’s folly in defending the PEPFAR anti-prostitution pledge before the Supreme Court by profiling the reduction in HIV rates one Nairobi clinic created by offering sex workers free STD treatment and condoms and encouraging them to unite to enforce condom use with their clients. Meanwhile, NGOs anxiously await the Court’s ruling on whether to abolish the pledge on 1st Amendment grounds.

In this month’s installment of white-slavery hysteria, an 18 year old Colorado woman reported missing in February has been found living unharmed in California, but family members are continuing to claim that she has been coerced into sex work. Although police who interviewed Ms Furlong have stated that she is living in Venice Beach of her own free-will, her parents remain convinced that she is a “a scared victim of trafficking,” and have requested police assistance to return her to Colorado. These concerns have been backed by the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation, who argue that trafficking victims are often “coerced to believe their families are bad”.  Ms Furlong herself has stated that “everybody can leave me alone because I’ve been fine and I am fine.” Here’s hoping everybody does just that.

A Radio Free Asia article finds that the US State Department has been fixing certain countries’ human trafficking records in order to avoid imposing sanctions on them, to reward them for one foreign policy back scratch or another.

Linda Foundren, Vicksberg, Miss. mayoral candidate, fesses up to being a former legal brothel worker. Does she support the widespread legalization of prostitution? Oh, no, of course not. She hated it. Hated it so much she went on to become a madam and to marry a former client. How much brothel money is going into supporting her campaign?

In a move that shocked many Australasian sex workers, a mainstream Australian and NZ news organisation published a story about sex work that isn’t terrible. The article challenges various myths surrounding sex work, and calls for solidarity with sex workers from those outside the industry. Who knows, maybe next time they’ll even run a piece written by an actual sex worker (dreams are free).

Responding to the concerns of a delegation of sex workers and trans* people with whom he recently met, Indian Chief Secretary J K Banthia announced his intention to issue a government order which specifies that no sex worker has to give up their profession in order to receive social benefits.

Some Democrats apparently believe that climate change drives women to sex work.

This GayNZ article outlines the case against proposed legislation that would re-criminalize street-based sex work in parts of New Zealand, emphasizing the bill’s inherent transphobia and harmful impact on already vulnerable workers.

Ugandan clients refuse to use condoms.

The All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) is demanding participation in policy-making processes affecting sex workers at a government level. At a recent nationwide meeting, sex worker delegates called for increased representation in policy-making bodies, and argued that the monitoring of violence and trafficking in the sex industry should be left to self-regulatory boards with a strong sex worker presence.

The LA Weekly watches the Client List along with a movement savvy escort, who talks about repetitive hand job stress injury, coming out, and the Lusty Lady, as well as letting the mainstream media know once again that sex work is work.

SWOP-Chicago has established the PROS Network, a directory of sex worker-friendly legal, medical and mental health professionals. The directory is a response to Chicago sex workers’ experiences of stigmatization, lack of understanding, and exit-as-solution concern-trolling from service providers.

Dr Brooke Magnanti has granted Mia Freedman “express permission not  to apologize” for the anti-sex work remarks she expressed on Australian panel show Q&A and website Mamamia, stating that any apology would be insincere.

A New Hampshire state rep has started a petition against using student activity money to run a sex workers’ rights event earlier this month at the University of New Hampshire which included Kitty Stryker, Isabella Beaulieu, and Jordan Ronidone.  “I think it’s an atrocity that our students brought prostitutes to our campus,” said Rep. Joe Sweeney, despite the fact that only one of them may have been a full service worker, and the fact that one of them was a current UNH student and one a former UNH student, so no one really went out of their way to “bring” them to campus.

Silver Rose, a sex workers’ rights organization in Russia, is planning to formalize their organization by applying for an official registration number.



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