Statement on the Killing of 8 People in Atlanta

We are in solidarity with the many other groups taking leadership and working on this tragedy such as Red Canary Song, Coalition for Rights & Safety for People in the Sex Trade and the Massage Parlor Outreach Project who are working to build safety and power by and for Asian migrant sex workers, and for folks like SNaP Co., who are working towards an end to prisons and policing in Atlanta. This recording of a vigil for the lives lost is a valuable resource. 

This week, our sex worker-led organizations have ben deeply involved in holding the United States accountable for violating the rights of sex workers here and globally and for creating and exporting policies that put all sex workers lives at risk. In 2011, the US accepted United Nations UPR recommendation 86 that demanded that the US protect sex workers and trans people from violence. This morning, the United States accepted 280 (whole and in part) recommendations from the global community of nations that will force it to confront the impact of gun violence, police brutality targeting people of African descent, human rights abuses faced by transgender people, abuses of migrants, the impact of COVID-19, anti-Asian violence, and gender based violence. 

These commitments will remain unfulfilled and Recommendation 86 will remain words on a page until the United States takes action to prevent what happened in Atlanta, GA.

Yesterday, we were all shaken when an armed cisgendered white man walked into three places of employment, described in the press as “massage parlors” and ‘spas”, and killed 8 people. His reasoning was that he had a “sexual addiction” that made him commit these crimes and he has been reported to be someone who frequented these venues to see women. We reject his words. He was not a customer of sex workers, he was a killer. We also, preemptively, do not want this discourse to be hijacked by any group seeking to “criminalize clients” and/or “end demand” for sexual services. The only solution here is rights.

We are not implying that all massage parlors and spas are sites where sex work can occur. Nor are we saying that the three workplaces he targeted were sites of sex work because implying that others are sex workers can stigmatize, jeopardize immigration status and led to arrests. What we are saying is that almost all of the victims were women, many of them were described as being of Asian descent and the intersection of being a woman, Asian, and a massage therapist, leads to the hypersexualization of these women and the assumption that they were sex workers. The man who killed them felt justified in perpetrating violence because of this and they were disposable to him. 

The fact that this can happen in these times is also due to the stigmatization of Asian Americans because of COVID19. This fury has been fueled and fanned by the Trump Administration and now we continue to live (and die) with this hatred.

Our hearts are broken as a result of these deaths but we are not deterred. We will never stop working to prevent anti-sex work policies being used to stigmatize immigrants, detain them, harm them and deport them. We will never stop working to wrest the humanity of all sex workers back from those who seek to kill us. We will not exempt the US government from creating a society in which these acts of violence can occur. The United States government was put on notice ten years ago at the United Nations by recommendation 86 and did nothing to stop violence justified by the thought that someone is a sex worker. 

We want every workplace to be safe. In order for this to happen, all policies criminalizing the lives and livelihoods of sex workers must be removed. We need farm workers, domestic workers, massage workers, cruise line workers and all workers to have rights and be safe as well.

Written by Monica Jones of the Outlaw Project and Penelope Saunders of BTripleP

Signed in support by 

Desiree Alliance

The Black Sex Worker Collective

New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance

Decoding the “Equality Model”

The following is a work in progress as we quickly examine the roots of a bill, the Sex Trade Survivors Justice & Equality Act, that was was introduced in the New York state Senate by New York Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter on Monday March 25, 2021. The purpose of the bill is to criminalize people associated with sex work and provide additional resources for policing, a form of criminalization that sometimes is referred to as the “Nordic Model.” The text of the bill is not yet publicly available leading to a moment in advocacy when we find ourselves responding to an issue without having the text before us. An important approach at BPPP, an approach that is shared by many of our coalition members in this case specifically the BSWC, is to review original source to decode exactly what is happening with new legislation, “terms of service” and other documents. Often when we dig deeper we find that the outcomes are far worse than we ever could have gleaned from reading press reports. We encourage everyone to follow the BSWC and sign on to materials the BSWC is developing.

Since the text of the introduced bill, the Sex Trade Survivors Justice & Equality Act,  is not available we reviewed Senator Liz Krueger’s tweets to find out more. Her tweets led us to the website of the New Yorkers for the Equality Model, illuminating the thinking behind the bill and the sleight of hand brought to bear in efforts to criminalize sex work, sex workers and to bolster policing at almost any cost to low income communities, immigrants and people of color.

The “bill summary” at the site hijacks the language of many years of advocacy to end the criminalization of sex workers and trans people’s lives in New York, without adhering to any of the policies that would actually create this change. The resources page for the “equality model” reveals the bill’s underlying anti-sex work philosophy, commitment to carceral approaches and equation of people’s efforts to secure their livelihood with violence.

While working in coalition to support efforts to educate about the bill, an advocate shared a link to an investigation by Propublica published in late 2020, that found that in New York City policing of the kind proposed by the “Equality Model” has targeted people of color and led to false arrests and sexual assaults by police officers. Since 2014 the city has had to pay over one million dollars in compensation to community members for rights violations.

Managing our own affairs!

The Best Practices Policy Project is now a tax exempt organization and has been operating independently of our former fiscal sponsor since December 17, 2020.

Running our own show has been hard won and we are sharing everything we are learning with our networks so others can do the same if they choose. Donations to the Best Practices Policy Project are tax deductible. Checks can be made out to and mailed to Best Practices Practices Policy Project, Inc at 8 Egbert Hill Rd, Morristown, NJ 07960. Donations can be made online via cc, debit and paypal. If you shop at Amazon (and not saying that you should but *if*) then send us some coins from them when you shop by clicking the button below.

Want to know how to support other organizations working for rights, providing services and organizing at the grassroots? The sector of organizations and activists working for rights very much needs donations no matter how small. Many organizations do outstanding work while receiving almost no support from mainstream funding agencies and your support will make a difference. The Desiree Alliance is currently seeking support. The Outlaw Project is setting up a housing project for transgender women in Arizona. The Black Sex Worker Collective is combining art and activism. New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance is providing support to the sex workers of New Jersey. The St. James Infirmary provides compassionate and non-judgmental support to sex workers in San Francisco. Donations help keep food on the table for program participants, pays for outreach supplies (like hygiene kits, new socks, hats, gloves, scarves, etc), or help pay for reproductive and medical services for uninsured sex workers in need.

More information about the Best Practices Policy Project… The Best Practices Policy Project (BPPP) is dedicated to supporting organizations and advocates working with sex workers, people in the sex trade and related communities in the United States. We organize, produce materials for policy environments, address research and provide organizations and advocates with technical assistance. We are committed to anti-racism and anti-oppression. Everything that we do is guided by principles that protect the rights of people who engage in sex work in all its forms. BPPP is a member of the US Human Rights Network, the Network of Sex Work Projects and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development.


Contacts: N’Jaila Rhee, Penelope Saunders,, Cris Sardina,, Akynos,, Monica Jones,

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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