This week was a big one for sex work related news, as the Supreme Court heard arguments this Monday about abolishing the PEPFAR anti-prostitution pledge–which forces NGO recipients of government aid to oppose prostitution–on the grounds that it suppressed free speech. Melissa Gira Grant contributed two articles in the Nation on the issue. The New York Times ran an op-ed in favor of doing away with the pledge. So did the Guardian and the Huffington Post. Even Fox News agreed the loyalty oath was unconstitutional…sort of. USA Today managed to fallaciously frame the issue as a choice between discouraging trafficking and effectively fighting HIV. Hmmmm…not so much. Anyone masochistic enough to want to read a full transcript of the hearing can find one here.
Meanwhile, this Tuesday, LGBTQ organizations, public health groups, and sex workers under the leadership of the Red Umbrella Project marched in Albany to support legislation ending the condoms as evidence of prostitution policy in New York state. Audacia Ray of RedUP reports that for once she was not misquoted in the coverage.
The Ugly Mugs initiative in the UK is facing closure as it struggles to secure continued funding. The scheme has assisted with over 250 investigations since July 2012.
Another interview with Amber Dawn about her new book – this dialogue with Town Dyke about street work, abolitionists, and the primacy of the sex worker memoir in queer femme culture is not to be missed.
Jules Kim, migration project manager at the Scarlet Alliance, spoke out this week against police raids targeting Asian brothels in Australia, and rejected the criminalisation of sex workers as an effective response to trafficking.
Kink.com’s Peter Acworth says Google Glass offers new opportunities for the production of “reality-based” porn.
Local NGOs report that the continued arrests of sex workers in Nigeria hamper anti-HIV work.
This New York Times piece about the bustling sex trade in the Afghan city of Mazar doesn’t use the word trafficking once. Color us surprised.
A high class escort uses her experience with married men in her new career as an infidelity counselor.
The mania for laws that ban internet porn has spread from the EU to India.
Gambia introduces some predictably homophobic new legislation outlawing male prostitution and crossdressing.
A survey by the Pakistani National AIDS Control Programme found that the prevalence of HIV in female sex workers is reasonably low, with the highest rates occurring in Karachi and Larkana. The survey also found that the average age of female sex workers in Pakistan is 26.9, with only 12.3 percent of FSW falling between the ages of 15-19.