This is one of two clips from a full episode that we are posting to the free podcast feed.
The full episode is avalable to patreon subscribers only.
Consensual and legal sex workers’ lives have been upended since the United States Congress passed a bill with the stated intention of helping trafficked persons in the sex trade - and it’s also made it harder to find and help trafficking victims. The bill, titled Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) in the House and Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA) in the Senate, passed by wide margins despite outcry from sex workers, non-faith based anti-trafficking orgs, and peer-led sex worker rights groups.
Before Donald Trump even signed the bill, sites like Backpage.com had already been seized and, according to sex work harm reduction organizers I’ve been working with to document company actions, over 150 sites or services have been taken down or currently discriminate against or outright ban sex workers.
Due to language intentionally conflating consensual sex work with trafficking, SESTA/FOSTA allows websites to be prosecuted not only if sex traffickers use their services, but consensual sex workers as well. This actually increases trafficking by creating opportunities for pimps and abusive managers to prey on displaced workers suddenly denied their main income stream. Groups like Amnesty International warn that further criminalizing sex work hurts everyone involved in trading sex, including trafficking and abuse victims.
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