Regional updates: North America and the Caribbean

Our members are listed on the left or you can click the red umbrellas on the map.

Regional Board Members

Shaunna-May Trotman (Guyana Sex Work Coalition), Guyana

Natasha Potvin (Peers Victoria Resources Society), Canada

NSWP Regional Network

The Caribbean Sex Workers Coalition (CSWC) is a regional network of organisations representing female, male and transgender sex workers. It was founded in 2011 and is based in Georgetown, Guyana.

News articles from North America and Caribbean region are listed below.

Share to Pinterest Share to Google+ Share by email

A high profile event benefiting two organisations working with sex workers will be held this weekend in Brooklyn.

Hey Queen! is a monthly dance party that is a regular on the New York City scene. Its May event, on Saturday May 17th, will benefit both the PROS Network and NSWP member Persist Health Project.

13th May 2014 by NSWP

The New York City-based Sex Workers Project (a project run out of the Urban Justice Center) which provides legal and social services to both sex workers and victims of human trafficking, has been selected by The American College of Trial Lawyers as the recipient of the

7th May 2014 by NSWP

Persist Health Project based in NYC has developed a useful guide for service providers seeking to shape their services to the needs of sex workers.

29th April 2014 by NSWP

Recently, Monica Jones, a human rights defender with SWOP, was profiled and wrongfully arrested by Phoenix police because she is a transgender woman of colour.

14th March 2014 by NSWP

On 20 December 2013, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down the last of the laws that relating to sex work that sex workers’ rights campaigners have argued were unconstitutional. The Criminal Code of Canada included a number of provisions, such as ‘outlawing public communication for the purposes of prostitution’ which relates to bans on street soliciting, ‘operating a bawdy house’ or ‘living off of the avails of prostitution’ although being a sex worker was not illegal.

12th February 2014 by NSWP

Sex workers in Jamaica gathered last week to demand rights, respect and dignity at a conference that received widespread press coverage around the region. Described as "members of a group that most Jamaicans may not have heard of", Television Jamaica went on to note that the Carribean Sex Workers Collective are "advocating for equal rights, and an end to stigma and discrimination". 

6th September 2013 by NSWP

The Caribbean Sex Workers Coalition (CSWC), a regional collective of sex worker-led civil society organisations and sex worker advocates, is calling on Caribbean states to end discrimination against sex workers, recognise transgender people and create laws to protect sex workers from stigma and discrimination.

2nd September 2013 by NSWP

Sex workers and sex worker rights advocates are speaking out with mounting concern in British Columbia, Canada, after two indoor sex workers were found dead in the same apartment block, two weeks apart. The women were called Jill Lyons and Karen Nabors.

28th August 2013 by NSWP


Contrary to popular misconception, sex work is legal in Canada; the act of exchanging sex for money is not a criminal offence. What is illegal are several activities fundamentally related to sex work, namely, communicating for the purposes of prostitution, (CC s. 213-1c); owning, operating, or occupying a "bawdy house" used for prostitution (CC s. 210); and procuring or living on the avails of prostitution (CC s. 212-1j). These three laws are currently being reconsidered in the Bedford v. Canada Supreme Court hearing, which took place on June 13th. 

The case began in Ontario in 2007, with three applicants: Terri-Jean Bedford, a dominatrix whose S&M dungeon was shut down in 1999 under the Bawdy House law; and two members of Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC), Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott. Together, they challenged the three sections of the Federal law on the grounds that these provisions violate sex workers' right to liberty and security of person, granted under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 7. The Communication Law also violates sex workers' Charter right to freedom of expression, section 2b. 

2nd July 2013 by NSWP

On June 20, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-2 decision in Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc. that the Policy Requirement of the Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath, from the U.S. Leadership Act of 2003, violates the First Amendment, and is therefore unconstitutional.
 
A partial victory for the sex worker movement, it unfortunately makes no stated distinction between sex work and human trafficking, and it is not a defence of sex worker rights. However, this ruling may decrease stigma around sex work, by allowing organisations in the United States that receive PEPFAR funding to publically adopt a neutral stance towards sex work, and focus on implementing best practices for public health aims. 

21st June 2013 by NSWP