Against Criminalization: Beyond "Legalization" vs. "Decriminalization"
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From Desiree Alliance 2013 Program Description: ...
From Desiree Alliance 2013 Program Description:
Supporters of sex workers' rights movement often emphasize how the illegal status of prostitution contributes to harm to sex workers, and how legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution might make it safer. But those of us who are street-based, immigrant, transgender, underage, people of color, etc. know that the law against prostitution plays only a small part in our experience of pervasive surveillance and criminalization in our lives. It is not that we are targeted and criminalized because prostitution is against the law; the prostitution became illegal because we are already targeted and criminalized.
This workshop explores a possibility for an anti-criminalization movement, which goes beyond legalization or decriminalization of sex work and addresses social and economic justice more broadly in the face of pervasive state violence, whether they take the form of Prison Industrial Complex or anti-trafficking "rescues." Our discussion will build on the work of women and queer people of color with histories in the sex trade, and how they have successfully built coalition with radical women of color activists outside of the sex workers' rights movement, for example during the campaign against Prop. 35 in California.
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