Category: Media Analysis

MSNBC Launches New Offensive Program “Slave Hunter”

Reaching new lows in taste and sensationalism, MSNBC is launching a program called “Slave Hunter: Freeing Victims of Trafficking.” Aside from the terrible choice of title–reminiscent of slave patrols, the origins of much of modern law enforcement in the US–the program trafficks (pun intended) in the very exploitation it alleges to decry. Several groups have sent an open letter calling on MSNBC to cancel the show or provide “counter programming.”

Deb Finan

Vice President, Production & Programming MSNBC

December 9, 2013

Dear Ms. Finan,

Below signatories are advocates for survivors of human trafficking and sex workers. We are writing to request a meeting about your troubling series, “Slave Hunter: Freeing Victims of Human Trafficking,” and to insist on counter programming that accurately reflects the reality of sex work and trafficked people in America. While we respect your efforts to tackle a difficult and necessary subject, the tactics of Mr. Cohen and “Abolish Slavery” mislead the public and threaten the rights and safety of sex workers and survivors of human trafficking.

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Statement of U.S. LGBTQ and Allied Organizations on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Best Practices Policy Project was happy to help craft and subsequently sign this statement for International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers:

Statement of U.S. LGBTQ and Allied Organizations on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

The undersigned lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two Spirit and allied organizations mark the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers by calling for support for efforts worldwide to defend the lives and rights of all people involved in the sex trades.

We recognize that systemic homophobia and transphobia, racism, disproportionate poverty and homelessness, widespread discrimination, and an absence of pathways to immigration status, frequently limit the economic and survival options of LGBTQ people, particularly LGBTQ youth and adults of color and transgender people. These conditions not only inform and can contribute to the involvement of LGBTQ people in the sex trades, whether by choice, circumstance, or coercion – they also increase the vulnerability to violence and abuse against LGBTQ people in the sex trades.

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Prostitution Free Zones in D.C.: The Sequel

Some activists in Washington, D.C. have been having a sense of dejá vù lately as politicians debate strengthening the city’s anti-prostitution laws. But constitutional concerns may keep the District from making “Prostitution Free Zones” permanent.

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Appeals Court Rules on Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath

A federal appeals court has ruled the United States cannot force US-based groups seeking international HIV/AIDS funding to denounce sex work. This decision from the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court in New York upholds a lower court decision in favor of the Alliance for Open Society International (AOSI), Pathfinder International, the Global Health Council and Interaction. The decision is a positive step for US-based organizations in terms of freeing them to implement and speak about best practice programs for communities of sex workers worldwide. However, the ruling does not prevent the United States from applying the “anti-prostitution pledge” (also known as the anti-prostitution loyalty oath) to organizations based outside of the United States seeking to obtain US government funding for international HIV/AIDS work.

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