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This report focuses on indoor sex work primarily because, while these sex workers are largely invisible, they face many of the same problems as the more visible street-based prostitutes. The stereotypes of indoor sex workers encompass only extremes of either wealth and glamour or coercion and violence. The true picture reveals a more nuanced reality—the majority of indoor sex workers in this study live surprisingly precarious lives, and encounter a high level of exactly the same problems faced by street-based sex workers, including violence, constant fear of police interference, and a lack of substantive support services. Finding concrete and reality-based solutions to the needs of this invisible, vulnerable, and marginalised community is imperative to helping them create safe and stable lives.

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Labour standards and occupational health and safety have been the rights of Canadian Workers for over 100 years. The sex industry and its workers have however never enjoyed the privileges of being acknowledged for providing a safe work space or been able to complain about dangerous conditions. This has forced the system at large to impose what it believes is right for sex industry workers with disastrous results for decades in the BC/Yukon region. The need for a community based process through which the sex industry can govern itself and have input to its future and stability has never been more urgent.

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Prostitutes of New York is an organisation of many kinds of workers in New York City’s
sex industry. PONY is a member of the international Network of Sex Work Projects,
which advocates for the rights of sex workers around the world. We are concerned about
two keywords that have arisen in anti-sex work anti-trafficking advocacy: “demand” and
“dignity.” This statement addresses use of the term “Dignity.”

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