This Friday March 18- “86 the Violence” Demonstration

86 The Violence





This year, the United States participated in a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – a process set up by the Human Rights Council at the United Nations to assess the level of human rights in each country.  The U.S. received more than 200 recommendations and must now decide to accept or reject each recommendation. Recommendation 86 called on the Obama Administration to “…ensure access to public services paying attention to the special vulnerability of sexual workers to violence and human rights abuses.”  This is the first time the US has been internationally called upon to address its insensitivity to the long-neglected issues faced by sex workers.


To capitalize on this momentous opportunity, sex worker support and advocacy organizations from all across the country have organized to move government officials to agree to accept the recommendation.  As a part of our organizing efforts we have reached out to sex worker groups, academics, policy makers, community organizations, funders and NGO’s around the globe and received unprecendented levels of support.  (See the amazing list of folks who have signed our call to action below.)


On March 18th, the U.S. will go to Geneva to announce to the U.N. which recommendations they will accept and which they will reject. “86 THE VIOLENCE,” a multi-city performance art action represents the culmination of sex worker advocacy efforts.  We believe we have an opportunity to achieve high levels of media attention, which opens the door for us to let the world know in one solid, united voice, that violence and human rights abuses will no longer be tolerated in our community.


If the government accepts the recommendation, this action will serve as a celebration for having our nation’s first major political promise to address the needs of sex workers.  If they do not accept the recommendation, then this action will serve to spark a fire of outrage that will be fueled by media and all of the supporters that have come out to champion the cause.  Either way, we believe the more sex workers and allies we can motivate to participate in this action, the more media attention we will receive, and the greater the likelihood that we can alter the conversation and public perception about sex worki in this country.





Join us in this public action performance on March 18th!  SWOP, Sex workers and allied organizations all over the country will be standing up and stripping down for recommendation 86!  Here’s what you do:


1. Check if there is already a key organizer in your city.  If there is no key organizer, email us, and we’ll list YOU as the key organizer!

Key organizers will be contacted by our media team to help you identify media outlets in your area, and follow up.

If you are a key organizer, pick a location for the action that we can list on the website, and a contact name, number, and email address

“86 the violence” will take place at noon PST, 1pm MST, 2pm CST, and 3pm EST on March 18th, 2011 for 86 minutes!



Organizations that have come out in support of accepting the recommendation:


Action pour la lutte Contre L’ignorance du SIDA (Democratic Republic of Congo)


AIDS Action Baltimore


AIDS Foundation of Chicago


AIDS Project Los Angeles


American Medical Students Association


Americans for Informed Democracy


Amnesty for Women


American Jewish World Service


Aniz, Inc.


Asocijacija za Borbu Protiv Side (Association against AIDS, JAZAS, Yugoslavia)


Association of Nurses in AIDS Care


Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network


Best Practices Policy Project


Black Communities’ Process (PCN)


Center for Anti-Violence Education


Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)


Center for Health and Gender Equity  (CHANGE)


Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program (CLPP), Hampshire College


Collectif pour le Developpement Economique, Social et Culturel Integre (Democratic Republic of Congo)


Desiree Alliance


Different Avenues


Erotic Service Providers’ Legal, Education and Research Project


Four Freedoms Forum


Harm Reduction Coalition


Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS)


HIV Prevention Justice Alliance


HIVictorious, Inc.


Housing Works


Human Rights Watch


International Community of Women Living with HIV and AIDS Global (ICW Global)


International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe


International Rectal Microbicide Advocates


International Women’s Health Coalition




JJJ Association (Hong Kong)


Madonna e.V. (Germany)




Malcolm X Center for Self Determination


Nashville CARES


National Minority AIDS Council


Nigerian Diversity Network


Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project


Public Interest Project, US Human Rights Fund


Population & Development Program, Hampshire College


Religious Institute


Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS)


Scarlet Alliance (Austraila)


Sex Worker Forum (Botswana)


Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK)


Sex Workers Outreach Project (Chicago Chapter)


Sex Workers Outreach Project (Las Vegas Chapter)


Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP National)


Sex Workers Outreach Project (NYC Chapter),


Sex Workers Outreach Project (Seattle Chapter)


Sex Workers Outreach Project (Tucson Chapter)


Sex Workers Project, at the Urban Justice Center


Sexuality and Gender Working Group, Human Rights Network




St. James’ Infirmary


Syndicat du Travail Sexuel (STRASS) (France)


Tais Plus (Kirgizstan)


TAMPEP (European Network for HIV/STI Prevention & Health Promotion among Migrant Sex Workers)


U.S. Positive Women’s Network (PWN) a project of WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life-threatening Disease)


Women of Color United


Women’s Network for Unity


Women’s Network for Unity (Cambodia)


Women’s Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy


Women’s Re-Entry Network


Women with a Vision


x:talk (London)






Academics who have come out in support of the recommendation:


*Laura Augustin, Ph.D.; Author, Sex at the Margins

*M. Jocelyn Elders, M.D.; 15th U.S. Surgeon General

*Elizabeth Bernstein, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor, Womens’ Studies & Sociology, Barnard College, New York, New



*Barb Brents, Ph.D.; Professor of Sociology, University of Las Vegas, Nevada

*Wendy Chapkis, Ph.D.; Professor of Sociology, Director of Women and Gender Studies, University of Southern




*Deborah Cohan, MD, MPH; Associate Professor

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive


Sciences, University of California, San Francisco; Medical Director, Bay Area Perinatal AIDS Center; Associate


Director, National Perinatal HIV Hotline


*Melissa Ditmore, Ph.D.; Consultant, Research and Rights-Based Programming

*Shari L. Dworkin, Ph.D., M.S.; Associate Professor, Dept. of Social & Behavioral Sciences; Director, Sociology


Doctoral Studies Program; Affiliated Faculty, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS); Affiliated Faculty,


Global Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco

*Smarajit Jana, MD; Principal, Sonagachi Research and Training Institute, Kolkata, India

*Jessica Fields, Ph.D.; Associate Professor, Sociology,Research Faculty, Center for Research on Gender and




*Valerie Jenness, Ph.D.; Dean, School of Social Ecology, Professor, Department of Criminology, Law and Society,


Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine


*Kamala Kempadoo, Ph.D.; Professor, Department of Social Science, York University, Toronto, Canada


*Gail Kligman, Ph.D.; Professor of Sociology, UCLA, Director, Center for European and Eurasian Studies

*Kari Lerum, Ph.D.; Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, Adjunct Professor, Women Studies,


University of Washington, Bothell


*Jill McCracken, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor, Rhetoric, Department of Languages, Literature, and Writing,

University of South Florida St. Petersburg

*Alice M. Miller, J.D; Visiting Senior Research Scholar, Robina Foundation Fellow, Yale Law School

*Penelope Saunders, Ph.D.; Director, Best Practices Policy Project

*Svati P. Shah, Ph.D., MPH; Assistant Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, University of


Massachusetts, Amherst

*Kate Shannon, Ph.D., MPH; Assistant Professor, Dept of Medicine, University of British Columbia;

Director of Gender & Sexual Health Initiative, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Vancouver, Canada

*Lara Stemple; Director, Graduate Studies, Director, Health and Human Rights Law Project, UCLA School of Law

*Dallas Swendeman, Ph.D., MPH; Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of


Medicine at UCLA; Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior; Center for Community Health;


Global Center for Children and Families; Center for HIV Identification, Prevention & Treatment Services

*Juhu Thukral, Esq.; Co-Founder and Former Director, Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center

New York, New York

*Stephanie Wahab, Ph.D.; Associate Professor of Social Work, Portland State University, Portland, OR

*Carole S. Vance, PhD, MPH; Assoc. Clinical Professor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University,


New York, New York

*Ronald Weitzer, Ph.D.; Professor of Sociology, George Washington University, Washington, DC


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