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 produce materials for policy environments, address research and academic concerns and provide organizations and advocates with technical assistance. Everything that we do is guided by principles that protect the rights of people who engage in commercial sex in all its forms.
What is the goal of the BPPP website?
This website is a tool to help people who want to make the US a better place for sex workers, people in the sex trade and communities that are affected by anti-prostitution policies. The resources on this site support organizing efforts and assist activists to learn and share about key issues. Mainstream reporting on sex worker issues and policy can be difficult to interpret so we regularly update our media review page and provide news analysis from the BPPP perspective. We provide fact sheets on what constitutes best practices and provide practical guides on how to make advocacy and organizing more accountable to a wide-range of sex workers, people in the sex trade and related communities.
Defining the terms we use at BPPP
People who are just beginning to find out more about organizing for the rights of sex workers, people in the sex trade and related communities affected by anti-prostitution policies might not have heard some of the terms we use. Here some explanations.
What is “sex work” and who are “sex workers”?
The term sex work refers to a wide variety of sexual exchanges such as sex for remuneration but it can also include situations in which sex is bartered for other needs (such as a place to stay for the night if the person is homeless or has insecure housing). Sex work may also refer to exotic dancing and other forms of legal entertainment. Some forms of sex work are very informal and invisible. For example, low-income workers or day laborers occasionally have sex for money to augment income. Other forms such as street based sex work may be more visible.
What does the term “people in the sex trade” mean?
Many people who engage in sexual exchange do not use the term “sex work” to describe what they do. Some people and organizations use the term “people in the sex trade” as another way of referring to sexual exchanges for payment or bartering.
Why does the Best Practices Policy Project refer to “related communities”?
Many communities of people are made vulnerable to human rights abuses because they engage in sex work or the sex trade. Furthermore, people who are oppressed (poor, people of color, immigrants, transgender, disabled ) and lack access to health and social resources to help them maintain their physical and psychological security are more vulnerable to violence and other forms of human rights abuses. The Best Practices Policy Project also works with groups that are discriminated against because of their presumed engagement in sexual exchange including transgender communities, low income lesbians, bisexual and gay communities, and the homeless. We use the term “related communities” to describe these groups of people who are struggling with these forms of oppression.