North America and the Caribbean

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Behind the Rescue: How Anti-Trafficking Investigations and Policies Harm Migrant Sex Workers

Behind the Rescue: How Anti-Trafficking Investigations and Policies Harm Migrant Sex Workers is a report produced by Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network), featuring the testimony of 18 Asian migrant sex workers, who contacted Butterfly when they were arrested, detained, and/or deported between May 2015 and August 2016 in Canada.

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U.S.A. FOSTA/SESTA legislation

This NSWP Briefing Note provides information about the United States’ recent legislation - The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) -that criminalise online platforms used by sex workers for advertising and information sharing, including for safety purposes. The resource provides details on FOSTA/SESTA and the 'End Banking for Human Traffickers Act', which aims to ‘prevent financial transactions involving the proceeds of severe forms of trafficking'. 

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Canada's Liberal Party votes to support the decriminalisation of sex work

Last weekend in Halifax at their biannual national convention, the Liberal Party voted yes to a resolution for consensual sex work decriminalisation. The resolution was presented by the party’s youth caucus, the Young Liberals of Canada, and is part of several resolutions that push for a more progressive Liberal Party. The Liberal Party are currently the largest party in Canadian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Trudeau.

USA sex workers resist closures of strip clubs

Efforts to resist the closing of strip clubs in the US are ongoing. Recent police raids have prompted a spotlight on New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) in recent months, as NOLA-based sex workers speak out against “tough on crime” politics affecting their right to work safely.

New legislation poses threat to sex workers in the U.S.

On 27th February, the House of Representatives passed a new Bill affecting sex workers in the United States: H.R. 1865 [Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017], known as 'FOSTA'. This bill makes it a federal crime for online platform providers to 'facilitate sex trafficking', also criminalising the users of these sites.

Queens of the Underworld: sex workers breathing together

A little more than a year ago, Romina Rosales, a Latin migrant 43-year-old sex worker, started “Queens of the Underworld”, a non-profit organisation based in L.A., California. According to their website, the organisation “provides community for women-identifying and femme sex workers that serves as a resource for learning coping-skills and self-care”.

Rentboy CEO Fined and Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail

It has been almost two years since the offices of Rentboy were raided by the New York Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security on 25 August, 2015. Six employees were arrested alongside CEO Jeffrey Hurant, but changes against every except Hurant were dropped after a the case became the subject of national attention with condemnation coming from LGBT and Human Rights organisations such as Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and Human Rights Watch. 

New Database Tracks Human Rights Violations in the Caribbean

NSWP Member Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), a working group of organisations and leaders advocating for populations affected by HIV, launched an online database this month. The Shared Information Database

Alaska May Expand the Definition of Sexual Assault to Include Police Officers who Engage in Sexual Activity with Sex Workers Before Arresting Them

In the state of Alaska in the United States, a legal battle over the right of police officers to engage in sexual conduct with sex workers before arresting them is bringing public attention to a national issue. Two bills HB112/SB73 introduced earlier this year would add an addendum to expand the definition of sexual assault to include instances of “peace officers” engaging in sexual conduct or penetration with a perpetrator that they are in the process of investigating.