Transgender Law Center welcomed today’s policy and supporting research by Amnesty International on protecting sex workers’ rights. In the policy, Amnesty International calls on governments to decriminalize consensual sex work and urges that laws related to sex work “should focus on protecting people from exploitation and abuse, rather than trying to ban all sex work and penalize sex workers.”
The policy and research follow Amnesty International’s August 2015 resolution supporting sex worker human rights. At that time, Transgender Law Center organized four other national LGBT organizations in issuing a statement in support of the resolution to decriminalize sex work. As that statement noted:
For many LGBT people, participation in street economies is often critical to survival, particularly for LGBT youth and transgender women of color who face all-too-common family rejection and vastly disproportionate rates of violence, homelessness, and discrimination in employment, housing, and education. Transgender people engage in sex work at a rate ten times that of cisgender women, and 13% of transgender people who experience family rejection have done sex work. Whether or not they participate in sex work, LGBT people are regularly profiled, harassed, and criminalized based on the presumption that they are sex workers, contributing to the high rates of incarceration and police brutality experienced by these communities.