MARCH 3RD IS INTERNATIONAL SEX WORKERS RIGHTS’ DAY!
This occasion renews our strength to demand recognition of our human rights as we struggle to combat violence and oppression against sex workers. This day reminds us that we are part of a global community of people who refuse to accept the discrimination against us and the criminalization of our work, our means to survive.
We appreciate the support we have received over the past year from Chicago individuals, organizations and communities and we celebrate YOU AND YOUR SUPPORT as part of this day!
SEX WORKERS OUTREACH PROJECT demands:
• Decriminalize Prostitution! Endorse local petitions and initiative drives to decriminalize prostitution.
• Stop The Raids! No More Deportations! In the guise of rescuing women from traffickers, San Francisco Police Department collaborates with the U.S. Department of Justice, resulting in the deportation of women. The Bush administration, their globalization and trade policies are the are some of the root causes of trafficking. Sex workers should be empowered to address abuses in our communities rather than excluded through this administration’s “anti-prostitution loyalty oath.” Sex workers are part of the solution!
• No More Stings! Stop the Corruption! Stop the entrapment of prostitutes and their customers! Clients and prostitutes are entrapped in stings, then ‘blackmailed’ by the District Attorney into attending stigmatizing, anti-prostitution ‘reeducation seminars’ (FOPP, First Offender Prostitution Program). The fees are exorbitant ($1000), but those arrested or cited attend, fearing exposure to their families, etc. But where has the money gone? Why is there no compliance with financial audits? Although the Public Defender also sponsors a diversion program, why does the District Attorney enforce this monopoly on an expensive diversion option for prostitution-related cases? Stop the corruption!
• Stop The Repression! Sex Workers and Migrants: Victims of Anti-trafficking Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women recently published a report, Collateral Damage (www.gaatw.net), which explains how sex workers and migrants around the world are being targeted by repressive forces under the banner of anti-trafficking. Fundamentalist feminists in the U.S. are lobbying congress to pass increasingly restrictive and punitive legislation targeting voluntary commercial sex. They propose a change in the definition of trafficking to blur the distinctions between forced prostitution and voluntary commercial sex. They propose expansion of the powers of the Department of Justice to monitor the voluntary sex industries federalizing all prostitution-related ‘crimes,’ which has even been rejected by the Department of Justice. Stop the repression!
History of March 3rd: The 3rd of March is International Sex Worker Rights Day. The day originated in 2001 when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a sex worker festival. The organizers, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group whose membership consists of somewhere upwards of 50,000 sex workers and members of their communities. Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3 March as International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.
Our political objectives are decriminalization of adult prostitution, securing social recognition of sex work as a valid profession and establishing sex workers right to self-determination. We believe ONLY RIGHTS CAN STOP THE WRONGS! SWOP-CHICAGO invites you to join us and sex worker organizations around the world to celebrate the lives of sex workers as well as highlight sex workers’ determination and strength.
(this material was composed by SWOP-NORCAL and modified for SWOP-CHICAGO)