This NSWP Briefing Note provides information about the United States’ recent legislation - The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) -that criminalise online platforms used by sex workers for advertising and information sharing, including for safety purposes. The resource provides details on FOSTA/SESTA and the 'End Banking for Human Traffickers Act', which aims to ‘prevent financial transactions involving the proceeds of severe forms of trafficking'.
internet-based sex work
In March 2007, Polk County Police Department engaged in 'Operation March Madness' a sting resulting in the arrests of 104 people, including 38 sex workers, 51 clients and 14 for related charges. Polk county has a reputation for large scale stings to get media attention. In the same county Operation 'Trick or Treat' arrested 95 sex workers and clients on Christmas Eve 2015. It came under criticism for the targeted ridiculing of transgender people by the Sheriff by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Carl Ferrer, the chief executive officer of Backpage.com was arrested on Thursday the 6th of October. He was charged with conspiracy and pimping a minor. Backpage.com is used by thousands of sex workers worldwide to advertise their services.
On the 20th of May in Brantford, Ontario (Canada), a report was released by Dr. Stacey Hannem and the organisation REAL that assesses the needs of rural sex workers. The report is called “Let’s Talk About Sex Work: Report of the REAL working group for Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk. Assessing the Needs of Sex Workers in Our Communities.” The full report is available here.
Escort advertising website Backpage.com won an appeal on the 14th of March, 2016. The ruling states that Backpage is not responsible for any trafficking that may happen because of the advertisements on their website.
NSWP, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, emphatically condemns the actions of the USA’s Department of Homeland Security and federal prosecutors in New York for the raid on the offices of Rentboy.com and the arrests of seven of its staff members.
This manual has three main objectives: to present examples of good practice for health and social service providers offering care for migrant and mobile sex workers working in both indoor and outdoor settings, to present examples of different experiences of HIV/STI prevention strategies, as well as introducing and facilitating implementation of innovative tools for specific outreach methodology, peer education, campaigns for clients and advocacy campaigns, to increase and expand good practice actions targeting sex worker and their clients.