Write your Senator!

Dear Sex Worker Supporters,Sex Workers Outreach Project-Northern California and the US PROStitutes Collective have joined together to oppose changes in the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2007 (TVPRA H.R.3877). On December 4, 2007 the Bill was passed in the United States House of Representatives with 405 ayes and 2 nays and it is now before the US Senate.

As you may know, concern about trafficking is being exploited to promote a moralistic and dangerous crusade against prostitution – a crusade we are determined to stop.

H.R. 3887 has two very problematic aspects: 1) It would allow the Department of Justice to prosecute traffickers without having to prove “fraud, force or coercion”, or a victim’s status as a minor.  2) It adds an amendment to the discredited 1910 Mann Act which prohibits interstate transportation of women for ‘immoral purposes’ so that if a person ‘induces or entices’ any individual to engage in prostitution or attempts to do so, they can be charged with the new offence of ‘sex trafficking’ and imprisoned for up to 10 years.

We know from speaking to politicians who have been lobbied that the campaign for this legislation is a determined one which is having some success.  It is being presented as a progressive change.  Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens), co-chair of the Congressional Human Trafficking Caucus and co-author of H.R. 3887 said recently “By eliminating the need to prove force, fraud, or coercion except to obtain enhanced penalties, prosecutors will have a more effective way to crack down on traffickers.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Sex workers and our friends and family will be pursued as easy targets and criminalized under this law whilst the real traffickers will go free.

Please urgently send your own letter, or the enclosed form letter, to your Senator and encourage them to vote against H.R. 3887. If you don’t know who your Senator is or how to contact them please click here and follow the directions:

More info:
Robyn Few, SWOP-USA
Rachel West, US Prostitutes Collective
Carol Leigh,  BAYSWAN

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