Intent vs Impact: Advocating for The Vulnerable

Codi Schei & Logan Dee | September 19 | 4:00-5:00 PM

Topic: Legal, Direct Service | Knowledge Level: Beginner, Intermediate | Location: Room 2592

Good intentions are the driving force behind current legislation and policies directed at helping those who are trafficked. However, by overlooking the voices of the most vulnerable, these seemingly progressive acts have unintended consequences, even making trafficking more likely. Using recent examples including FOSTA/SESTA, strip club legislation, and raids on sexual oriented businesses (SOB), the presenters will demonstrate how efforts to end trafficking often blur the lines between trafficking and sex work and end up perpetuating the problem we seek to eradicate. They will then discuss how activists can learn from these shortcomings and develop more inclusive policies that will genuinely work towards ending trafficking while still protecting people who perform consensual erotic labor.

Presentation Objectives:

·  Define sex work versus sex trafficking, the spectrum of agency within the sex trade, and criminalized, legalized, and decriminalized models for prostitution

·  Highlight various pieces of legislation targeting sex workers across the country

·  Provide examples of real abuse and exploitation happening in SOB, gentlemen’s clubs, and adult entertainment venues

·  Illustrate how decriminalization initiatives grant greater access to support, resources, and non-sex work economic opportunities

·  Offer suggestions to anti-trafficking advocates on ways to be inclusive toward sex workers when developing policy strategies, rescue interventions, and/or outreach

About the Presenters