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.

Regional updates

9th December 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

 

Canada’s harmful new anti-sex work policy, Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, became law on December 6th, ironically Canada’s national day of remembrance and action on violence against women. Kathleen Wynne, Ontario's premier, issued a statement a day after it took effect, saying she has a "grave concern" about the new laws.

1st December 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

In May 2013 Monica Jones, a student, trans- and sex-worker-activist and member of SWOP Phoenix, was arrested by Phoenix police on charges of “manifesting prostitution” as part of a programme called Project ROSE. Jones had spoken out against Project ROSE just days before her arrest.

21st November 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

In the United States, the practice of paying for the right to work a shift at a strip club is widespread.

5th November 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

 

The Protection of Communities and Exploited persons act, Bill C-36, a harmful new piece of legislation introduced by the Conservative Canadian government in response to last year’s Bedford decision, looks set to become law.

3rd November 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

 

On October 21st the Oakland City Counsel quietly passed amendments to the Nuisance Eviction Ordinance requiring landlords to evict sex workers from the properties. Overshadowed by the passage of the Tenant Protection Ordinance, which aims to protect tenants against rent hikes, the amendment requiring the eviction of sex workers only came to light when journalist Susie Cagle tweeted about it.

21st October 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

On the 18th of September, two teenage girls were found dead on the side of a road in Jacksonville, Florida. The bodies of the two young women, Tjhisha Ball and Angelia Mangum, who were 19 and 18 years old, respectively, had apparently been thrown off an overpass and were discovered by a passerby in the early hours of the morning.

21st October 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

The Associated Press (the world’s largest newsgathering organisation, based in New York City) is accepting suggestions for the 2015 version of its stylebook, a writing style guide for journalists. The stylebook is updated annually to reflect changes in writing style and new guidelines, and this year sex worker activists are urging the organisation to drop “prostitute” in favor of the preferred “sex worker.”

16th October 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

After nine years of organising, the joint efforts of NSWP member groups Best Practices Policy Best Practices Policy Project and HIPS, together with groups including Casa Ruby and the DC Trans Coalition have succeeded in having the District of Columbia’s “Prostitution Free Zone” policy overturned.

2nd October 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

Launched in September 2013, New York’s Human Trafficking Courts (HTICs) are the first statewide human trafficking intervention within a justice system in the United States. The courts function as a “diversion” programme by connecting those arrested for prostitution to mandated social services rather than incarceration. Defendants who complete a mandated programme can have their case dismissed and sealed, provided that they are not rearrested within six months.

29th September 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

In Canada, Bill C-36, which has been roundly criticised by sex workers, looks likely to pass, in its original form.

25th September 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

Last week, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 336,legislation requiring district attorneys to get a court’s permission to use possession of more than one condom as potential evidence of prostitution. It will go into effect on January 1st, 2015.

15th September 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

In an unusual case of strong sentencing, a 23-year-old man, Damique Fennell, who led the attack and robbery of a 27-year-old transgender sex worker in New York City was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

“Several decades ago”, said District Attorney Cy Vance in a press release, “a case like this one may not have gone to trial, but today’s sentencing and the convictions of these defendants represent a significant step towards obtaining justice for all crime victims, regardless of background.”

8th September 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

As the Canadian government rushes to push through Federal Bill C-36, their proposed new sex work legislation, before their December deadline, the Senate's legal and constitutional affairs committee will be meeting on Tuesday, September 9th to discuss it.

5th September 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean
NSWP, The Global Network of Sex Work Projects, heralded the decision made by the Canadian Supreme Court in December 2013 to strike down laws related to sex work that were recognised to be unconstitutional and in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The striking down of provisions that restricted sex workers’ ability to implement crucial security strategies in their work was seen by NSWP members and allies around the world as a significant step forward in advancing the health and human rights of sex workers in Canada.
29th August 2014 | Region: North America and the Caribbean

In the months since the Canadian government introduced its proposal for new legislation around sex work, Justice Minister Peter MacKay has been touring the country, holding closed-door meetings with what his department calls “criminal justice system stakeholders.” While the exact identity of those consulted remains unclear, one thing is likely: none of them were sex workers, the very people the government’s