Advocates for Sex Workers Send Open Letter to Allegheny District Attorney Stephen Zappala Opposing Criminalization of Condom Possession

The letter notes that criminalizing condoms “has a chilling effect on Pittsburghers' willingness to carry and use condoms, especially those who are most vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS and other STIs including women and men of color, LGBTQ people, young people, victims of trafficking, and people in the sex trades.”


Dear District Attorney Zappala

The Sex Worker’s Outreach Project (SWOP) Pittsburgh is disappointed in the District Attorney Zappala’s response to the open letter we and several other organizations (including ACLU of Pennsylvania, Women's Law Project, #SurvivorsAgainstSESTA and Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania) opposing several practice that endanger the citizens of Allegheny County: 1.) police and prosecutors’ practice of citing condom possession as evidence of intent to engage in prostitution-related crimes, 2.) police seizure of condoms and other contraceptives, and 3.) the practice of adding the more severe possessing-instrument-of-crime (“PIC”) charges under 18 Pa.C.S. § 907 when defendants are charged with prostitution.

Pa Sen. Bob Casey’s letter for Workers/Survivors to understand the FOSTA/SESTA facts

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio introduced S. 1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, on August 1, 2017. The legislation amends Section 230 to ensure that those who run sites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking can be held accountable for their actions in civil or criminal court. Representative Ann Wagner of Missouri introduced H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) on April 3, 2017. This bill imposes criminal penalties on a person who facilitates sex trafficking in interstate commerce.  

Today we trade fear for sanctuary

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner Inauguration: Today we start the long road towards empowering and protecting some of our most vulnerable witnesses and survivors: immigrants that lack legal status so that they like other vulnerable groups - young people, elderly people, sex workers - can participate in the criminal justice system that is there to protect them. Today we trade fear for sanctuary. 

Open Letter To Open Society Foundation

The Open Society Public Health Program invites concept forms from civil society organizations and networks that seek to advance the health and human rights of sex workers in Europe. Marginalized by stigma and criminalization, sex workers face enormous obstacles to realizing their human rights, and oppression has led to extreme levels of violence, disease, and exploitation. Justice and health systems routinely fail sex workers, and at times compound their marginalization through harmful law enforcement practices and insurmountable barriers to health care. Sex worker organizing is sometimes vilified, further exacerbating problems related to workplace health and safety. The myriad of health challenges sex workers face cannot be addressed squarely within the health system, and the structural—and often political—determinants of sex worker health extend far beyond health care.

Sexual Health Care for Youth in State Custody

The Center for HIV Law and Policy,  Equality Federation, and Heat: Health Education Alternatives for Teens, invite you to join us for a day organizing to develop an advocacy strategy for policy change on comprehensive sexual health care for LGBTQ youth in state custody.