March 3 Is International Sex Workers’ Rights Day

International Sex Workers’ Rights Day was created in 2001 by Calcutta based group Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (Unstoppable Women’s Synthesis Committee) to shine an international spotlight on “sex worker activism, resilience, community and strength!

Since then, sex workers and advocates around the world commemorate March 3 as an opportunity to raise awareness about human rights abuses sex workers can face, and to shed light on the diverse experiences of sex workers the world over.

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Sex workers are people of all genders.  Sex workers come from all nations, and all walks of life.  Sex workers choose their line of work for any number of reasons, and by recognizing their agency and their autonomy, we create a freer world for all.

When sex work is acknowledged as real work, sex workers as well as victims of human trafficking can seek legal protection.

There will ALWAYS be demand for those who practice “the oldest profession.”  It is time for us to crush the stigma and recognize sex work as real work!

Why should I support sex workers’ rights?

1.  Sex Workers are humans.

2.  Sex Worker rights are human rights!

To quote the Sex Workers Outreach Project (www.swopusa.org), here are some goals of those who advocate for Sex Workers’ Rights:

  • Stop police harassment and violence against sex workers, including robbery and rape
  • Ensure sex workers have safe, fair working conditions
  • Eliminate barriers to accessing healthcare, housing, mainstream employment, and financial services.
  • End stigma and discrimination.
  • Identify and assist victims of sex trafficking and reduce vulnerabilities to trafficking.
  • Increase economic, racial and gender equality to address economic compulsion.
  • Stop harmful brothel raids, sting operations, and crackdowns on sex worker communities online and outdoors.  Decriminalize sex work.

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How can you stand with sex workers?

Today, join @slutist, @emotionallyee, @scientwist420 and @sarahbrujita by posting with the hashtag #IStandWithSexWorkers, and share why you believe that sex workers rights are human rights!

Here are other hashtags that promote the cause:

#InternationalSexWorkersRightsDay
#Dignity&Respect
#BodilyIntegrity
#OnlyRightsWillStopTheWrong
#NoBadWomenJustBadLaws
#DecriminaliseSexWork or #DecriminalizeSexWork
#SexWorkIsRealWork

Photo Credits: skin graphic by @emotionallyee and @scientwist420