PRESS RELEASE

Contacts: N’Jaila Rhee newjerseyrua@gmail.com, Penelope Saunders, bestpracticespolicyproject@gmail.com, Cris Sardina, director@desireealliance.org, Akynos, blacksexworkercollective@gmail.com, Monica Jones, theoutlawprojectinc@gmail.com

Sex Worker Rights Groups have told the United Nations how the U.S. violates human rights: now the world is watching

Newark, NJ – November 5th, 2020  – On Monday November 9, 2020 the world will be watching as member states of the United Nations hold the United States accountable for its spectacular failures in ensuring the health and human rights of sex workers, transgender people, migrants and other communities harmed by the criminalization of sex work.

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Updated UPR Statement

As we prepare for the delayed Universal Periodic Review of the United States that will now be held on November 9, 2020, we are providing the following updated statements for missions and interested parties.

COVID19, Racism, Police Brutality and Human Rights Violations of Sex Workers, People in the Sex Trades, and People Profiled as Such, for the 2020 Universal Periodic Review of the U.S.A.

CONTRIBUTORS: New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance, Desiree Alliance, The Outlaw Project, Best Practices Policy Project and the Black Sex Worker Collective

In the US criminalization and stigmatization of sex workers, and those profiled as such, prevents our communities from exercising our human rights. Violations include: violence perpetrated by law enforcement and ICE; cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment during incarceration; denial of due process and protection in the justice system; denial of rights to housing, healthcare, reproductive rights, education, income, employment and economic justice. People of color, transgender people, migrants, street based sex workers, homeless, youth, and people living with HIV/AIDS bear a high burden of these violations. The US government has engaged in a sustained campaign to roll back the rights of transgender people. Transgender people are assumed to be sex workers by the authorities, leading to incarceration and immigration detention, where they are harmed, highly vulnerable to sexual assaults, and killed.

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PRESS RELEASE: Vital communications cut for people of color and trans led group during #COVID19

Contacts: 

N’Jaila Rhee, newjerseyrua@gmail.com and P. Saunders, bestpracticespolicyproject@gmail.com

Vital communications cut for people of color and trans led group during #COVID19

Newark, NJ – April 10, 2020  – The Best Practices Policy Projects is working with a network of sex worker rights and trans led organization to get life saving support to community members in need due to COVID-19. The Twitter account of our key New Jersey partner New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance (NJRUA) has been restricted for three weeks. This restriction cut off access to hundreds of workers in the sex trades who communicate with NJRUA via Twitter direct message to receive direct services such as referrals to health care, emergency food, and time sensitive support for domestic violence that has been heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of equal importance to these messages are communications from victims of the serial rapist Joey Torres who was arrested by Federal agents in February 2020. 

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Impact of cancellations due to COVID-19

In 2020, our organizations in various coalitions have been planning to host the following events and engage in the following human rights processes:

  • a sex worker led parallel session and a fundraiser at the Commission on the Status of Women,
  • the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United States including writing a collective report, advocating for key issues with permanent missions, hosting a working group on sex work at the USHRN, planning to attend pre-sessions at the UN in Geneva and the UPR itself that should be held in May 2020,
  • a sex worker rights networking session at the Allied Media Conference in June 2020,
  • AIDS2020 in San Francisco and HIV2020 in Mexico City (both planned for July 2020).
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