We invite you to join us at an important hearing on trafficking called by the California State Assembly Public Safety Committee.
What: Informational hearing – Human Trafficking: Identifying the Scope of the Problem and Potential Solutions
When: Tuesday Oct 20, 9:30am to 12:30pm
Where: Sacramento, Capitol Building, Room 126.
Lawmakers need to know that there is a world of difference between prostitution (consenting sex between adults) and trafficking (a criminal offence of transporting people by force). Policy and law have mixed up the two with the result that anti-trafficking initiatives are most often used to target sex workers, particularly migrant workers, for raids, arrest and deportation. As we understand it, this hearing is aimed at bringing some clarity to the issue and will also look at how laws on pimping and pandering have been used to attack sex workers. We are very glad that some in the California legislature are finally starting to address this issue!
US PROStitutes Collective (US PROS) and many of you, have for years been protesting, speaking out, writing, and raising our objections to how sex work and trafficking are conflated. (See our “brief” which highlights how trafficking has been used to justify a moralistic crusade and increased criminalization of prostitution.) As a result, sex workers have been left more vulnerable to rape and other violence, exploitative working conditions and police illegality, whilst genuine victims of trafficking have got little or no help.
We heard the hearing will be three panels of invited speakers, some who work in anti-trafficking policy and so far one sex worker organization — ESPU (Maxine Doogan). We need more representation from sex workers, as we are the ones affected by these laws! US PROS is hoping to speak on a panel, and there is time for public comment so everyone can give their point of view.
This is our chance to make our voices heard so let’s show up in force. It’s an opportunity to speak about the devastating impact of crackdowns against prostitution under the guise of rescuing victims of trafficking, the arrests, criminalization, deportations, etc.
Please let us know if you are interested in coming. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will send updates as we find out more information.