Author Archive

Sex Workers Unite on International Whores Day: Global Solidarity with Ugandan Activists

Join us on June 2, 2021 at 12.30 pm in NYC in front of the Ugandan Embassy (336 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017) and show solidarity with Ugandan sex worker led groups that are working to protect the rights of sex workers by asking everyone to reject the Ugandan Sexual Offences Bill of 2021. This new legislation harshly affects sex workers, criminalizing brothels, engaging in prostitution and engaging in a sexual act with a sex worker. The legislation also criminalizes  ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature” fueling anti-LGBTQ discrimination and heteronormative policing of sexuality. Download a statement from Ugandan Sex Workers and download a statement from the BSWC.

We cannot stay silent with the rights of sex workers and allied communities are under attack. Bring signs and banners in support of sex workers and LGBTQ communities for this short and sweet action that will show our colleagues in Uganda that we are in support of them.

Why do we protest on June 2? Protest is the very basis of June 2 actions as the date goes back to the 1970s when sex workers occupied a church in Lyon, France. It is known globally as “International Whores Day.”

Date of action: June 2, 2021

Time: 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm

Location: 336 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

Accoutrement: Make a sign! Bring your voice and music. Wear purple to be in solidarity with workers worldwide and bring red umbrellas.


Contacts: N’Jaila Rhee and Jiselle Parker –, Penelope Saunders –, Cris Sardina –, Akynos –, Monica Jones –

Sex Worker Rights Groups have told the United Nations how the U.S. violates human rights: here is how the US Government responded

Newark, NJ – April 27th, 2021  – This week our coalition of sex worker rights organizations is releasing a response to the United States response to the Third Cycle 36th Session Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations. The UPR is held every five years to hold member countries responsible for their human rights records and provides one of the only ways that our communities can shine a light on rights violations going on inside the U.S. In March the United States formally responded to 347 recommendations about human rights made by the international community, accepting 280 (whole and in part) of them.

“The current U.S. administration has the opportunity to take progressive measures in identifying how people labor, how people survive, and their lived realities,” says Cris Sardina of Desiree Alliance, adding that,“there should be nothing about us without us and the United States needs to consult with sex worker rights leadership to make the changes needed to make the accepted recommendations meaningful.” 

“Black trans people in the United States are facing catastrophic levels of police brutality,” says Monica Jones, founder of the Arizona-based Outlaw Project. “We are pleased that member states of the UN have provided such clear recommendations regarding current policing practices targeting transgender people and that the U.S. accepted them. It is now time to make those recommendations matter by ending the violence experienced in our communities.”

“Ten years ago the U.S. accepted UPR Recommendation 86, requiring it to take action to address the vulnerability of sex workers and transgender people to violence and human rights abuses,” comments Penelope Saunders of the Best Practices Policy Project (BPPP). “We are gratified to see the U.S. accept new recommendations about police brutality targeting people of African descent, human rights abuses faced by transgender people, abuses of migrants, the impact of COVID-19, and gender based violence. However, these commitments will remain unfulfilled and Recommendation 86 will remain words on a page until the United States takes action.”

Previously in 2019, the Outlaw Project, Desiree Alliance, BPPP, the Black Sex Worker Collective, and New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance submitted a shadow report to the United Nations about rights violations and then spent a year meeting with policy makers despite the barriers of the pandemics of COVID19 and anti-Black police violence.
To download a full copy of the 2021 response report pls visit:

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.