Over 300 human rights groups across 40 nations calling on Associated Press not to use the term 'sex worker'
"Collective Shout joined human rights organisations and survivors of the global sex trade in calling on Associated Press 'to refrain from using terms like “sex work” and “sex worker” because they legitimise prostitution as a form of “work” and conceal the violent and exploitive nature of the commercial sex trade.'
T: (212) 643-9895
E: [email protected]
T: (212) 349-6009 x332 E: [email protected]
MORE THAN 300 HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS AND ANTI-TRAFFICKING ADVOCATES FROM 40 NATIONS URGE ASSOCIATED PRESS TO AVOID TERMINOLOGY THAT LEGITIMIZES PROSTITUTION AS A FORM OF WORK
Gloria Steinem, philanthropists Peter and Jennifer Buffett, the Women’s Media Center and survivors of the sex trade among those who oppose the terms “sex work” and “sex worker”
New York, November 5, 2014 – More than 300 human rights organizations, frontline service providers and advocates such as Sanctuary for Families and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, and survivors of the sex trade, are urging the Associated Press (AP) to refrain from using terms like “sex work” and “sex worker” because they legitimize prostitution as a form of “work” and conceal the violent and exploitive nature of the commercial sex trade.
In an open letter to the editor of the AP Stylebook, more than 300 people, including feminist author Gloria Steinem, philanthropists Peter and Jennifer Buffett, the Women’s Media Center, and human rights activists from 40 nations including Australia, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Norway, The Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, the United States and Venezuela, asked the AP to adopt alternative vocabulary that reflects the life realities of individuals bought and sold in prostitution.
Studies and testimony of survivors demonstrate that the sex industry is predicated on dehumanization, degradation, and gender violence that cause life-long physical and psychological harm. Between 65 and 96 percent of people in prostitution have been sexually assaulted as children; 60 to 75 percent have been raped by pimps and sex purchasers; and between 70 and 95 percent have been physically assaulted in prostitution.
Vednita Carter, the Founder of the survivor-led organization Breaking Free, added “The term ‘sex work’ was coined by supporters of the sex industry to normalize prostitution and mask the injuries it inflicts on those exploited in it. Prostitution is not ‘sex’ and it is not ‘work.’ It is a harmful practice steeped in gender and economic inequalities that leaves a devastating impact on those of us who were or are ‘in the life.’”
The letter explains that “[t]he chasm between the meaning of the word ‘work’ and the experiences of the average prostituted or trafficked person is too vast to be ignored. The term ‘sex worker’ wrongly suggests that the person in prostitution is the primary actor in the multi-billion dollar sex trade.”
“The term ‘sex worker’ renders invisible and unaccountable the traffickers, pimps, brothel and strip club owners, and the buyers of sex who prey on vulnerable individuals with histories of poverty, homelessness and sexual abuse,” says Autumn Burris, Founder/Director of Survivors for Solutions. “We must look at prostitution as a human rights violation.”
The letter also recommends against the use of the word “prostitute” and suggests alternative language including “person in prostitution,” “prostituted person” or “commercially sexually exploited person.” Instead of “sex work,” the advocates propose “sex industry,” “sex trade,” or “prostitution.” The letter also states that “teen prostitute,” “teen prostitution” and “child sex worker” have no place in responsible journalism and must be replaced by “sex trafficked child.”
The letter was written in response to an invitation from the AP to submit comments for its Stylebook 2015 edition and to an online campaign calling on the AP to adopt the term “sex worker.”
You can find the open letter here.
Statements from NORMAC and Abolish Prostitution Now following Amnesty state AGMs on weekend
NORDIC MODEL AUSTRALIA COALITION (NORMAC)
Media Release 10/05/2014
AMNESTY BRANCHES OPPOSE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S SEX INDUSTRY AGENDA.Read more
Dave Martin and Collective Shout
In response to our petition Isuzu has agreed to remove its “x rated” sex tourism competition.
More than 1000 people signed the petition in the first 24 hours. In the end we received a total of 3608 supporters. It was great see see so many men like me express outrage about this too!Read more
Isuzu Ute Australia is holding an “X rated” competition to promote a new model Ute. Displaying the the text “The New “XRated D-Max” Isuzu is offering “5 hot nights”for “you and three mates” as the prize. Advertising imagery and associated text makes it clear that this prize amounts to sex tourism.Read more
Gail Dines and Norma Ramos discuss sex trafficking on Boston Public Radio.
Gail Dines is professor of sociology at Wheelock College and Norma Ramos is the Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.
We were recently asked to comment on yet another strip club opening in Brisbane. The new club was dubbed 'Disneyland for men' due to the opening hours and number of staff. We were asked whether council should put a cap on the number of sex industry businesses operating in Qld. From Quest news:
"Certainly council needs to do something about capping or moving towards a society where we don't have women valued for their bodies and women bought and sold and harmed in this way,'' she said.Read more
Every year thousands of women are promised a dance career in Western Europe, instead they are tricked, forced and exploited in the sex industry.
This stunt in Amsterdam's Red Light District was created by Dutch advertising firm Duval Guillaume for anti trafficking group, Stop the Traffik.
Watch the video and see how the onlooking men's faces change at the end. You can find out more about Stop the Traffik here.
The ACT Government is holding an inquiry into prostitution in the Territory. Collective Shout has made a submission to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety. Here it is: