Today Is the International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers

 Yes it is!

Unfortunately, I was remiss and didn't make a blogpost about it. So, instead, I will give you a brief linkspam about it:

Global Voices Online:
December 17th is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, a day which started  in 2003 as a memorial and vigil to the Sex workers killed in Seattle Washington and then evolved to an international day to call attention to the hate crimes committed against sex workers throughout the world.

Feminist Philosophers:
The day calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe as well as the need to remove the stigma and discrimination that is perpetuated by custom and prohibitionist laws that has made violence against sex-workers acceptable.

The red umbrella has become an important symbol for Sex Workers Rights and it is increasingly being used on December 17: “First adopted by Venetian sex workers for an anti-violence march in 2002, red umbrellas have come to symbolize resistance against discrimination for sex workers worldwide.” with a Press Release that has RENE ROSS OF STEPPING STONE!! You know, of HALIFAX!!! It also has a quote from Jessica Yee.
In light of the continuing violence faced by sex workers across the country, four groups that advocate for sex workers in Canada demand an end to criminalization and the removal of current laws around sex work that put sex workers lives in danger. “Sex workers are caught in a strange Catch-22 situation” said Chris Bruckert, President of POWER and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Criminology, “While our work itself is legal, it is illegal for us to communicate about it beforehand, live off the avails of our work or run a private worksite.” Émilie Laliberté, spokesperson for Montreal’s sex worker group Stella adds, “These laws stigmatize us and force us to work in isolation, making us more vulnerable to violence.”

“Sex work is not violent in and of itself,” adds Rene Ross, director of Stepping Stone in Halifax,  “It is the policies that criminalize sex workers’ lives and our work that foster violence against us”

International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe - ICRSE:
The impact of violence on sex workers affects all of us, including family, partners, friends communities, and colleagues. This year for the 2009, 17 December Campaign we want to have a special focus under the theme:
'PEOPLE CARE!' About us & we care about people. We are not alone.

You know that sex workers are not alone and that we are part of communities. In most of our countries we struggle against our governments for the recognition of the rights of sex workers to work; so they can take care of themselves and the people they love and do this under safe and healthy working and living conditions.The role of punitive laws in preventing sex workers from accessing the services and support they need has been recognised by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS among many others.

Facts about Prostitution:
Both the Chicago and New York studies offer recommendations for better ways for law enforcement and community institutions to deal with prostitution. The suggestions sound like common sense – offer sex workers meaningful supportive services, including job training, affordable housing, health care and counseling. Start treating sex workers like human beings with civil and human rights, rather than criminals. And don't forget to address the problem at the source: the portion of the customer base who are eager to pay to exploit and abuse sex workers.

Audacia Ray's Thoughts on This Day:
There are a lot of different projects that sex workers and our allies must work on to ensure our rights: we must work to reduce stigma and encourage the general public to think of us as multi-faceted human beings; we must work to ensure our legal rights and protections not just from potentially violent clients but from law enforcement officers and the legal system; we must work to gain greater access to nonjudgmental health care services and providers who are educated on our needs; we must create culture and tell our stories to each other and the world at large; we must defend ourselves against people who supposedly have our best interests in mind yet won’t listen to our statements of needs; we must challenge bad health policies and distribution of funds at the local, national, and international levels; and last but not least - we must create networks of emotional and spiritual support so we can stay strong and continue to do this very exhausting work. But it’s hard to do even a sliver of that essential work when we are being killed, silenced by hate and fear and a deep and dangerous assumption that we are expendable, that no one will care when we do not come home.

Heather Corinna tweeted:
On the Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers as a supportive move ask yourself how any of your words or actions might enable violence.

*waves little "YOU ARE NOT ALONE!" flag*

x-posted to the Redux Edition


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