NY: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Written by Administrator2
Thursday, 24 December 2009 12:43

Listen to the broadcast segment here.

Members of Sex Worker Action New York march at Pride 2009

December 17th was the 7th Annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Originally conceived by Dr. Annie Sprinkle and started by the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle, Washington, this event now calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe, from Montreal to Sydney.

According to the Paulo Longo Research Initiative (a new policy institute focusing on international research on sex workers),

* USAID research conducted in 2006 in Cambodia found that of the female and transgender sex workers surveyed approximately half were beaten by police; about a third were gang-raped by police and about three-quarters were gang-raped by other men during the past year.
* A groundbreaking study of sex workers in Central and Eastern Europe revealed that police in the region routinely physically and sexually abuse sex workers, that they use violence and threats of violence or arrest to extort money or sex from sex workers, and that they are able to commit such abuses with impunity.
* The World Health Organisation has recognised clear links between violence and sex workers’ vulnerability to HIV, and recently both Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary-General, and Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director, have recommended that laws that punish sex workers be repealed in the light of evidence that they increase HIV vulnerability.

In New York, sex worker activists, sex worker non-activists, and their allies met last Thursday at the Metropolitan Community Church in Chelsea to raise awareness about violence here and abroad and to advocate for the legalization of sex work and protection of sex workers.

A candlelight vigil was held and the names were read of the 70 sex workers in the U.S. whose murders were documented in the past year. As a representative from Sex Workers Action New York (SWANK) said, “because sex workers’ experiences of violence are often silenced, we know that there are many more people who passed on in 2009 than we are naming tonight. May their spirits be at peace and may we honor their lives as we work together to end violence against sex workers.”

Names of murdered sex workers were read at candlelight vigil

Last Updated on Monday, 28 December 2009 19:24

See original at Out FM

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