The War against Sex Work and the Manipulation of “Sex Trafficking”
Activist and artist Carol Leigh (who coined the term “sex worker”) succinctly breaks down the problems with the anti-trafficking movement/industry on Open Democracy.
The article is a quick and readable tour through oppressive policies against sex workers, which are often pushed forward under the false premise of “sex trafficking” and “human trafficking.”
“…the analysis of the historical development of contemporary anti-trafficking policies is crucial to understanding the escalating criminalization and stigmatization of sex workers,” she writes. And then points out that we need to overhaul “any legal framework centered on ‘crime’, rather than on rights…”
She also indicates the widespread global humanitarian opposition to the sex trafficking panic.
“Sex workers have long explained that one of the many conditions needed to prevent the abuses often conflated as ‘trafficking’ is the decriminalisation of sex work. This principle is supported by Human Rights Watch the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, the United Nations Development Programme, UN Women and UNAIDS,among a growing list of international bodies.”
Since porn performers are sex workers, since many have some experience in other forms of sex work, and since sex trafficking laws often overlap with anti-porn sentiment/legislation, this is a must-read primer on oppression for anyone involved in the adult industry.