North America and the Caribbean

COVID-19 Impact – United States

The United States this week announced that they had passed 1.2 million recorded COVID-19 cases, and nearly 70,000 deaths. Despite these somber milestones, the country has been divided between those eager to get back to ‘business as usual’ and those who wish the lockdown to remain in effect. Left out of this debate are the sex workers who have had no choice but to continue working due to their exclusion from any government relief package.

Impact of COVID-19 on Sex Workers in North America and the Caribbean

In April 2020, NSWP launched a global survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers. The survey received 156 responses in total from 55 different countries out of which 53 responses were from 6 countries – Canada, Guyana, Mexico, Suriname, Trinidad, and the United States – in the North America and the Caribbean region.

People are going hungry. People are scared to work, or not to work.” – PACE Society, Canada

‘If they can have her, why can’t we?’

Amnesty International has released a new report highlighting the routine use of rape, violence and torture by police to punish women sex workers in the Dominican Republic. The report - ‘If they can have her, why can’t we?’ - uses testimony from 46 Dominican cisgender and transgender women sex workers, and reports them suffering various forms of violence at the hands of police.

GHJP Reports on 'Prostitution Diversion Programs'

Yale Global Health Justice Partnership (GHJP) has released two complementary analyses on prostitution “diversion” programs (PDPs) in the USA: Diversion from Justice: 'A Rights-Based Analysis of Local ‘Prostitution Diversion Programs’ and their Impacts on People in the Sex Sector in the United States'; and 'Un-Meetable Promises: Rhetoric and Reality in New York City’s Human Trafficking Intervention Courts'. One is national in scope and the other focused specifically on New York City programming.