Sex Worker Open University

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Location

London
United Kingdom
Contact email: 
contact@swou.org
Who do you work with?: 
SWOU works with sex workers of all genders over the UK. SWOU members belong to all sectors of the sex industry; strippers, porn actresses/actors, escorts, dominatrix, cam models, street based sex worders etc.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?: 
Sex Workers are the main decision makers in our organisation. SWOU has a steerng comittee of 6-8 people, 80% of which are current or former sex workers. Sex worker memberss of SWOU attend meetings, participate online by emails or social networks and attned our public events and workshops.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?: 
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face: 
Sex workers in the UK belong to many sectors and issues vary depending on the sector and the work settings. Social stigma and exclusion of decision making bodies are the main issues. Bad working conditions and lack of labour rigts affect many sex workers. Vioence and police repression is also an important issue.
Describe other areas of your work: 
- Community building: creating and inclusive sex-workers community empowering sex workers to support each other and speak out against repression and bad laws - Public education: challenging myths adn stereotypes about sex work and sex workers through workshops, cultural/artistic events and online resources such as videos and briefing papers - Lobbying: partisipation in governmental consultations and in meetings with trade unions, LGBT, feminist and migrant movement
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