Tag Archives: Sex Trafficking

Thursday, April 17 meeting notes

Feel free to add anything I forgot (just post in the comments section).


This is an abbreviated version of a more detailed record available to members of the SWOP-NOLA Google Group.  That version contains some sensitive information (email addresses, first names, etc.).  The SWOP-NOLA Google Group contains detailed updates including specific meeting locations, information on current projects, etc.  If you’d like to access the group, please request membership here.

  1. NSWP

  2. Amnesty International

  3. Smoke and Apple Films Documentary

  4. Big Ol’ Sex-Worker-Friendly Healthcare Resources Project

  5. Legal Resources

  6. Monica Jones

  1. NSWP

    I applied for membership to NSWP, we were approved, and as of April 17th 2014, we are full members.  Nifty pdf saying so here:  CERTIFICATE OF MEMBERSHIP – Global Network of Sex Work Projects

  2. Amnesty International

    Decriminalization of sex work was a topic at Amnesty International’s 2014 Human Rights Conference a few days ago.  In a document they sent out (which is no longer available for distribution), they said:

    “While the organization does not currently have a policy on sex work, it decided to initiate this consultation after considering evidence which suggests that the criminalisation of sex work leads to social marginalisation and an increased risk of human rights abuses against sex workers. The evidence also suggests that decriminalisation could be the best means to protect the rights of sex workers and to ensure that individuals involved in sex work receive adequate medical care, legal assistance, and police protection.”

    They are requesting that sex workers fill out a questionnaire/survey so that they can better understand our experience in this type of work and our priorities regarding sex workers’ rights.  However, in order for the answers to be useful, and in order to assure it doesn’t fall into the hands of prohibitionist groups, they’ve asked that we only distribute the survey to absolutely, positively, for-real sex workers.  Contact us at swop.nola@gmail.com if you’re interested in submitting your responses.

  3. Smoke and Apple Films Documentary

    Katie Green of Smoke and Apple Films contacted us requesting participants for a documentary they’re making.  They intend to portray sex work in a positive light.  If I’m understanding her correctly, they’re getting around the whole anonymity thing by making it animated (with audio from the interviews).  We talked on the phone and she seemed legit, so I asked her to write up a brief informative pitch for y’all, and I told her that anyone who was interested in participating would contact her.  Here it is:  Call for Interviewees for a documentary film: The Sex Workers Project (working title)

  4. Big ol’ healthcare project

    • The easiest way for you to help with this project is to either:
      1. Share a link to our SWOP-NOLA Sex Worker-Friendly Healthcare Resources Survey ( https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NZP7CLH ) on Facebook, Twitter, etc., or in a post on your website or blog, or
      2. Send the link ( https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NZP7CLH ) to any healthcare professionals or resources you know who might be interested in participating (being listed in our directory of Sex Wroker-Friendly Healthcare Resources)

    • One of our members, who has access to the world of everything medical (well, way more than most of us do), has the opportunity to work with the director of community health at Tulane in June.  We talked about the possibility of her going to clinics on a sort of educational crusade re: how to be nonjudgmental, respectful of sex workers, understanding of some of our concerns, etc.
    • Another member has experience doing stuff like this and creating materials.  She has contacts at Breakout! and WWAV and other orgs that may want to collaborate, and she may have access to materials that might be helpful/useful.
    • Everyone interested in this should familiarize themselves with the PERSIST Health Project in NY, which is basically what I envisioned this being (sooner or later) in like 2012 when I first realized there was a need for it.  If you’d like to be put in contact with the members working on this project, contact us.
    • Z suggested that we pin down what we’re looking for from this project, etc. because that might help guide us in the development of it.
    • Here’s mine:  I’ve been a full-service sex worker for a few years.   A couple years back, I noticed that, at least in online spaces for local clients and escorts/fbsm providers, there’s a general naivete and lack of knowledge (re: medical stuff like safe sex, signs and symptoms–or lack thereof–of STIs, myths about how HIV and other STIs are spread, etc.,) and a general distrust of healthcare providers.  Some clients took advantage of providers’ lack of knowledge by convincing them to engage in high-risk behavior.

      So, I wanted to have a list of healthcare providers with whom full-service sex workers could speak frankly and visit for medical concerns without the fear of being sold out to the cops, judged, lectured, shamed, etc.  Later I thought about how it would be cool to have a counselor who wouldn’t blame all my problems on my work.  And then I saw Louisiana Trans Advocates’ list of medical resources.  Once we started working on the list of sex worker-friendly healthcare providers, and we realized that most people we contacted had no idea what “harm reduction” or “sex worker” or even “non judgemental” meant, we realized that this was a beast and we’d have to inform/educate/etc. before we expected healthcare providers to decide whether they were cool with treating us without judgement.  Then I met Sarah from PERSIST last year and I was like, holy hell, that’s exactly what we need!

      The more people who have gotten involved, the more complicated this project has become, which is actually good–this project seemed simple at first, but there’s a ton of shit I was overloooking.  Then we lost some people, and others no longer had the time/energy (everyone assures me this is normal with SW-led orgs, but it still sucks).  Then a good friend of mine (full-service sw) in NY had a terrible experience a few months ago with a doctor, and when she told me the story of the whole ordeal and how she was treated, this project became a priority in my mind again.  So here we are.

    • Here’s the list we have so far. Feel free to add to it! All of you should be able to edit it. If you can’t, let me know. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhkPsuOfq6wDdDZYd3RwOXprZ3ZiUWZYRWJZYXVaWnc&usp=sharing 

      They have all been sent this info flyer:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxkPsuOfq6wDNTZGcWU4UzBtdlU/edit?usp=sharing

  5. Legal Resources

    • G suggested we do a similar project for legal resources (specifically, a directory of sex-worker-friendly attorneys and other law-ish stuff.).  I wanted this to exist, but I only know of like one lawyer who is sw-friendly. This would be awesome, and according to G it’s entirely possible, as she has some connections she can talk to about it.
    • Also, Z will contact people he knows at Resurrection After Exoneration (I think?), which looks pretty badass.
  6. Monica Jones

    What can we do for Monica? Fundraising?  Publicity?  On the individual level, we can each donate to SWOP-PHOENIX because (if I understand correctly), they’re paying her legal fees, etc.  Z will print out flyers and hand them out during the anti-Easter Easter Parade (sorry, I forgot what it’s called). 

    More about Monica Jones:

“The Eye of the Beholder: How Bad Data, Scrambles for Funding and Professional Bias Shape Human Trafficking Law and Policy” – Dina Francesca Haynes

Via Interdisciplinary Project on Human Trafficking

The Eye of the Beholder: How Bad Data, Scrambles for Funding and Professional Bias Shape Human Trafficking Law and Policy – Dina Francesca Haynes



“One of the most cumbersome issues stymieing anti-trafficking efforts over the past twelve years since the adoption of the Palermo Protocol and the subsequent US Trafficking Victim Protection Act (TVPA) is that far too much of the discussion has centered on sex. Media, politicians, movies, celebrities, prosecutors, law enforcement and even academics have focused their attention almost exclusively on human trafficking for sex.

So much discussion of human trafficking now centers around sex, most audience members attending a talk or reading about human trafficking expect that sex trafficking will be the focus of discussion, even when the discussion is specifically slated to center on human trafficking into domestic servitude, for example. Because the audience has been primed by the media focus on trafficking for sex, they envision an entirely different sort of “victim” when experts talk to them about human trafficking. The audience is prepared for (and expects to hear about) sex and so other areas of human trafficking are ignored, regardless of the fact that the varieties of ways in which humans have been exploited by traffickers abound. In the United States, for example, victims of human trafficking have been forced into severely exploitative labor (domestic service, nannies, agriculture, factory work; cleaners and maintenance crews); misled about the work that would be available and then trapped by their debt and/or lack of immigration status or visa portability (teachers, welders,); adult sex workers deprived of their earnings and coerced or forced into work that they do not wish to do and children forced into sex work and other types of indentured or forced labor (hair braiding). Internationally, people are trafficked from their countries of origin to countries of destination for all of the foregoing reasons, as well types of forced and indentured labor as yet unknown in the United States (camel jockeys, massage on the beach, inherited servitude). People are also trafficked within the interior of their own countries.

…a growing number of “experts” and politicians perpetuate the uncertain statistics and the conflation between human trafficking and prostitution, and these are shaping anti-trafficking policy. Some of them believe that ending prostitution will actually eradicate human trafficking, while others have the primary objective of abolishing prostitution, and merely use the attention and funding currently available to human trafficking as a vehicle by which to achieve their objective.”


Read more at traffickingroundtable.org

Sex Trafficking and the Superbowl in New Orleans

There’s a lot of talk about sex trafficking and the Superbowl. Though the claim that the Superbowl (or other major sporting event) is a “magnet” for sex trafficking (forced prostitution of underage girls) is a popular one, it is ultimately inaccurate. Some even assert that it’s simply a scare tactic used to rally the public and local law enforcement against prostitution in general:

“It’s a myth that’s been playing to sell-out crowds for more than a decade. But there’s been trouble at the box office in recent years. No one gets too excited about garden-variety prostitution anymore. As a culture-war wedge, it’s so 1912. So promoters of the panic have changed their advertising. Instead of adult harlots, the siege now consists of underage girls.”

Last year, The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women published a paper dispelling the myth of increased sex trafficking during the Superbowl. You can read it here:

What’s the Cost of a Rumor? A guide to Sorting Out the Myths and Facts About Sex Trafficking and Sporting Events 

“As a global anti-trafficking organisation, GAATW is concerned that international sporting events are being linked with increases in trafficking for prostitution, without evidence. This has been promoted most heavily by prostitution abolitionist groups, who argue that large numbers of men automatically results in a greater demand for commercial sex which can only be met through trafficking women into prostitution. …Linking trafficking and sex work in this way has resulted in ‘collateral damage’ that is negatively impacting some of the groups who are affected by anti-trafficking policies, particularly sex workers.”

(GAATW is a group that works “to ensure that the human rights of all migrating women are respected and protected by authorities and agencies…(and) promotes rights of women migrant workers and trafficked persons and believes that ensuring safe migration and fair work places should be at the core of all anti-trafficking efforts.”)

Remember the claim that the highest number of domestic abuse incidents occured on Superbowl Sunday? We now know that’s a myth, or inaccurate at best (futureswithoutviolence.org). These rumors persist because of stereotypes and sensationalism, and lack of knowledge, and they overshadow the REAL problems, which need REAL solutions. Spread the truth, not a rumor!

While we of course do not support sex trafficking, attempts to rescue sex trafficking victims often broadly target sex workers in general, and relatively few trafficked minors are helped. In the FBI’s Operation Cross Country 2008, 47 juveniles were “recovered,” but 518 adult prostitutes were also arrested. That operation was considered a success. There are better ways to help trafficked minors that do not include arresting 11 adults for every one child.

Arrests, Health Questions, Gonorrhea, & Sex Trafficking and the Superbowl in NOLA

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Again, if you’re receiving this email, it’s because either you’ve expressed interest in SWOP-NOLA, or you just plain rock and I thought you might be interested. If I’ve made a mistake and you actually don’t rock and you’re not interested, let me know, and I’ll remove you from the list.

In this Update:

NOPD Arrests 11 in Prostitution Sting
Ask a Healthcare Professional
Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea and CBJs (Covered Blow Jobs)
New Orleans Human Trafficking Conference, October 24 and 27
Lafayette and Beyond

Continue reading

About Sex Trafficking

see also: Sex Trafficking and the Superbowl in New Orleans

SWOP-NOLA does not in any way support sex trafficking.

However, we also believe that there is danger in the conflation of sex trafficking and sex work. As Sex Workers Without Borders states

“We are not limited to a false construct that all in the sex industry are unwilling participants…Advocating human rights for all sex workers does not take away from efforts to bring freedom to those suffering forced participation.”

The notion that all sex workers are victims of sex trafficking is both inaccurate and unfair–to trafficking victims and voluntary sex workers alike.

More on Sex Trafficking