Students for Sex Worker Rights

Location

Toronto
Canada
Contact email: 
studentsforsexworkerrightsyork@gmail.com
Who do you work with?: 
We work with sex workers (female, male, and trans, primarily students but also non-students) and allies, who are interested in learning and raising awareness about sex worker rights and activism, while fostering collaborative relationships with local sex worker rights organizations
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?: 
The organization is co-founded by a sex worker and an ally. Sex workers also make up at least 50% of the executive council and are active voting members in all decision making processes.
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: 
The main challenges that the sex workers this group works with face derive from criminalization and stigmatization. These challenges include fear, isolation, loneliness, and, in particular, the indirect aspects of life that are negatively impacted as a result of criminalization and stigma (i.e. child custody, border/immigration issues, housing, family support, and health care).
Describe other areas of your work: 
We actively work to 'myth bust' and reduce the stigma and barriers experienced by sex workers on the University campus, with the hope that this will positively ripple into the wider community. We also actively seek out collaboration with pro-rights allies and raise awareness on campus of the need for sex worker rights and decriminalization.