The Impact of FOSTA/SESTA on Sex Work and Trafficking

Cassandra Damm, LCSW & Leah Levine | September 21 | 10:15-11:15 AM | Room 2591

Topic: Legal | Knowledge Level: Intermediate

In March of 2018, two acts were legislated into action in both the House and the Senate: Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA). These acts seek to punish the hosts of online sites where sex workers post their ads for work allegedly to protect victims of sex trafficking. The presenters examine the difference between sex trafficking and sex work, the conflation of the two, and critically assess the ramifications of FOSTA/SESTA in relation to net neutrality, freedom of speech, and the impact on the lives of sex workers, particularly the more marginalized workers. In the wake of FOSTA/SESTA, they seek to analyze attitudes toward and the legislative history of sexuality in order to consider why we as a society are so interested in and committed to controlling issues relating to sexuality.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Define sex work and sex trafficking.

·  Examine the intent of FOSTA/SESTA.

·  Explore the impact of FOSTA/SESTA.

·  Discuss the history of the legislation of sexuality.


About the Presenters