Our parent organization is a “national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.” The SWOP-USA Mission Statement can be found here:
Depending on regional laws and the type of sex work performed, workers are regulated, controlled, tolerated, or prohibited. The stigma created by criminalizing sexual activity amongst consenting adults supports violence against and persecution of sex workers while creating black market conditions around sex work immigration. Those who are victims in sex work are marked as criminals which impedes their ability to find other work and housing, perpetuating the need to operate within the industry for survival. Current laws supporting arrest, deportation and penalizing sex workers is at direct odds with their stated purpose – protecting victims. Even when sex work is legal, sex workers are socially marginalized.
Misinformed media often further harms sex workers by perpetuating the negative stereotype of all sex workers as victims, and by opposingto liberate individuals in autonomy over their bodies. The sex industry does not cause the use of fraud, coercion and violence in obtaining human labor, it is but one of many industries affected by those who abuse human rights for profit. Drug addiction is not caused by sex work, drug addiction is an illness found in all segments of society. STI’s are not caused by the sex industry, STI’s are caused by unsafe sexual practices, exacerbated by lack of accessible education and treatment. It is past time that we decriminalize the actions of consenting adults to focus our time, resources and energy to address the important human rights and social issues directly.
There are many sex workers who are fully empowered and positively contributing members of the greater society. To create a safe environment for sex workers we need laws and programs enabling free will, education to support informed choice, policies designed for harm reduction, and viable alternatives to those within the sex work industry. For these stated reasons and more, public awareness and education are the heart of our agenda.
Our goals include creating alliances with human service organizations with which to provide sanctuary for victims and viable alternatives to those who leave the sex industry; to facilitate access to resources which address the legal, safety, health and community concerns of those within the sex industry; to increase positive visibility and acceptance of the sex industry and it’s professionals as normal people with real rights, and to decry those institutions and individuals who dehumanize or prey on sex workers.
In pursuit of these aims we reach out to sex workers, like-minded organizations and persons of compassion everywhere. We welcome you as allies!
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