When it comes to discussions of sex work vs. sex trafficking, there are a lot of problems with conflation between the two and misinformation about the motives of the sex worker rights movement. Many sex workers who are advocating for decrimalization and human rights are often accused of only advocating for those things out for their own self-interest, rather than what we believe is best for our community. Some opponents of sex worker rights even go so far as to call the rights movement the pimp lobby, in an attempt to further silence the voices of sex workers and marginalized communities.
The fact is that the sex worker rights movement is also very much against all forms of labor trafficking, sex trafficking and child exploitation. Not only that, but research has shown that sex worker organizations and other peer support groups have the best success in providing services to both trafficking victims and consensual sex workers.
SWOP Denver was pleased to have the opportunity to present on the Global Sex Worker Rights Movement and it’s Relation to Anti-Trafficking at Metro State University’s Anti-Trafficking course yesterday and today. The presentation covers the history of the sex worker rights movement over the past 45 years, in addition to some information on decriminalization vs. legalization and the spectrum of consent, circumstance and coercion. A Google Drive copy of our presentation can be found here, and we can also provide a PDF of the presentation upon request.
We believe that survivors of trafficking are best served when sex workers and anti-trafficking groups can work together instead of against one another, whether that be through knowledge and skill sharing, or through teaming up to offer direct services. If you are interested in having SWOP Denver members give this presentation in your class or to members of your organization/ community, please contact us at SWOPDenver@gmail.com. We are also available for other education and peer outreach opportunities, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any ideas you may have for working with us. We look forward to meeting more of you and continuing our work in the Denver and Colorado sex worker communities!