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.

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At the beginning of this month Honolulu police arrested more than a dozen sex working women over a weekend. Instead of charging the women with prostitution – a misdemeanor that carries a maximum 30-day jail sentence – they were instead charged with sexual assault in the fourth degree. If convicted, the women would have to register as sex offenders.

Honolulu police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said, in a statement, that the police operation was prompted by public complaints.

11th May 2015 by NSWP

Geneva–Representatives of U.S.-based sex worker rights organisations are in Geneva, Switzerland, meeting with members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), and advocating for greater human rights protections. The HRC will hold its quadrennial Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the U.S.’ human rights record on May 11th at 9am (3am EST), at the U.N. in Geneva. The UPR is a peer-based review process, through which the human rights record of each member state of the U.N.

8th May 2015 by NSWP

 

Maggie de Vries on this TED Talk exposes her own life story in order to expose the stigma and discrimination around sex work.

Maggie remarks on how she had to come to terms with the life that her sister Sarah lived.

21st April 2015 by NSWP

At a meeting in St. Lucia earlier this month, NSWP member group, the Caribbean Sex Work Coalition (CSWC) was invited by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS, which is made up of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) to be part of a Regional Coordinating Mechanism.

20th April 2015 by NSWP

In the United States, the Georgia House has approved a constitutional amendment charging strip clubs to “help combat child sex trafficking.”

The charge would be $5,000 or one percent of revenue on adult entertainment businesses, whichever is greater. The funds will apparently go towards a new commission responsible for coordinating services for victims of child trafficking, although details on this are very vague.

15th April 2015 by NSWP

Despite repeated debunkings of the link between large sporting events and trafficking, hysteria inevitably persists in the run up to every major sport event. With Toronto’s Pan Am Games scheduled to take place in July, church groups have already begun promoting the idea that the city will see an explosion of sex trafficking cases as a result.

7th April 2015 by NSWP

On Wednesday, April the 1st, Premier of Ontario, Canada, Katherine Wynne said that Ontario would uphold Canada’s new prostitution law —which criminalises paying for sex, and communicating or advertising for sex—following a review by the province’s Attorney-General, Madeline Meilleur, which found the new law to be constitutional.

3rd April 2015 by NSWP

Background

In December 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada (Bedford Decision) struck down all three sections of the Criminal Code that outlawed prostitution, on the grounds that the laws violated sex workers' right to security of the person. In other words, the laws prevented sex workers from employing precautions that would increase their safety on the job. The Court gave the government one year to make new laws. 


Enacted in December, 2014, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA) makes it a crime to:

30th March 2015 by NSWP

On Tuesday the 24th of March, sex worker organisations participated in the Public Policy Forum on Violence and Health in Sexual Work in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The forum was hosted by the Domincan Republic’s first sex worker organisation, Movimiento de Mujeres Unidas (MODEMU), (United Women's Movement), and supported by the Latin America and Caribbean Sex Workers Network (REDTRASEX).

26th March 2015 by NSWP

On Monday March the 16th, the New York State Assembly passed legislation that would allow for tougher penalties for traffickers, sending them to prison for at least five years and up to 25 years.

The Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (TVPJA) was split off from a package of “women’s equality” bills that had stalled because of a disagreement with the Republican-controlled Senate over abortion rights.

23rd March 2015 by NSWP