Sex workers across the US have previously protested against legislation intended to fight sex trafficking when US President Donald Trump signed controversial bills: the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) last year. Sex workers claimed the bills made them more vulnerable to exploitation.
JAN 10 • Thank you so much for your fair and balanced coverage of the 15th Annual IDTEVASW. Since 2012 SWOP and SAFE have strived to stand up and speak out in Philly on issues specific to stigma and gratuitous violence against sex workers. Folks are always amazed at how hard and painful this event is to do, yet in the end how truly blessed we are to be able to come together to do it. Many households in most areas of Greater Philadelphia, if not all of PA, are touched somehow by this issue. Talking about sex work and prostitution is hard. Living in shame and silence is harder. D/17 is not fun, though it is full of love. Truly. We are here because we have been there, and we care. Our voice is their voice. Thank you for covering the memorial. Words cannot even express the gratitude I feel right now. Philly is proving we got LOVE!
A federal court considering a challenge to the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017, or FOSTA, dismissed the case on Monday.
Shea Rhodes in op/ed to The Hill: Prostitution is incredibly dangerous. The admission by sex workers who claim to use certain websites to screen violent and homicidal sex buyers acknowledges the inherent danger of commercial sex. The passage of SESTA/FOSTA does not make prostitution more dangerous.
The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) passed Congress and was signed into law by US President Donald Trump back in April. It was intended to target websites hosting ads for illegal sex services, such as Craigslist, Backpage and Cracker. But the same websites are used by legitimate, adult, consenting sex workers all over the world, including in Australia. Sex workers here were bracing for the impact of an effective ban on advertising, and for many the financial losses have surpassed their worst expectations.
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.
Data shows that access to these online platforms decreases violence against sex workers, but I don’t need data to know that my friends are safer with the ability to screen clients, to share information, and to work indoors. In 2006, my friend Sequoia was stabbed and killed by a client while working alone and outdoors. I know that supporters of these bills want to end violence against women and against marginalized people of all genders. So do I. SESTA will only increase violence against the most marginalized.