The Ishtar Collective

Who do you work with?

Our organization works with sex workers and allies across the spectrum of gender and sexuality. We are in alliance with several anti-trafficking and migrant justice related organizations in the state of Vermont, as well as organizations based around harm reduction in the New England region.

How are sex workers involved in your organisation?

All of our voting members are either active sex workers or former sex workers. The co-founders are both active in the industry, and the overwhelming majority of our membership is involved in the industry as laborers.

Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face

In a state that is largely homogenized, however progressive, the two main challenges tend to be the criminalization and poverty within our our state. This makes mental health care largely inaccessible, food and housing instability, and inequity an issue, as well as lack of access to protections through the criminal legal system.

Describe other areas of your work

In 2020, our work was in financial crisis aid for sex workers who were impacted by COVID-19. We work in policy advocacy, education, and direct services.

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