Help to Decriminalize Sex Work in Oregon – Request a Hearing of HB 3088!
*HB 3088 has been introduced by Representative Rob Nosse and it has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. Committee Chair Bynum and the other committee members are still deliberating whether to hold a hearing.*
We need you to email and ask these legislators to hold a hearing for HB 3088.
“Please hold a hearing for HB 3088, because it impacts people I know and care about”, is one example of language to use.
Why support HB 3088 ?
- Decriminalizing sex work is a human right: all people should be allowed to choose consensual adult sex work as a viable work option. It helps people who need to have a flexible job that supplements their income and allows them to take care of their basic needs and families. We believe that sex workers’ human rights cannot be fully realized with criminal laws that threaten their access to justice, health, and social services. This also undermines their right to labor and workplace protections and exposes them to more risk to violence, discrimination, and arrest.
- Decriminalization decreases human trafficking: Human trafficking involves using force, fraud, or coercion against an individual to exploit them in a range of labor sectors, including the sex trades. Sex workers can be natural allies whether they are survivors of human trafficking or not, and can help those being trafficked gain the services they need. The Sex Workers Project works to assist both survivors of human trafficking and sex workers to obtain immigration status which gives them autonomy over their ability to find work and helps people escape from and avoid trafficking situations. We help trafficking survivors apply for T nonimmigrant status, asylum and other benefits. If they want to continue in the sex trades we support them in gaining the resources needed to stay as protected as possible.
- Decriminalization decreases health risks: Sex workers should have free access to healthcare to maintain their physical and mental health. In countries where sex work is not criminalized (such as The Netherlands), sex work is one of the safest sex options for those who want to explore and experiment with their own sexuality. This empowers sex workers to protect themselves from STD’s and HIV/AIDS and can be healing for clients who need safer ways to explore being with someone intimately.
- Decriminalization protects sex workers from police violence: In the US context it is dependent on each state and sometime local level if condoms may be used as evidence – but we have definitely seen that sex workers and people profiled as sex workers will have the possession of condoms used as evidence of being involved in sex work. Decriminalization empowers sex workers to come forward to register complaints against police who are unlawful by bringing offenders to justice without a fear of being killed or imprisoned (where many sex workers are murdered). Sex workers should feel safe when reporting crimes as they are often raped and beaten by authorities.
- Decriminalization helps to prevent violence and abuse: Due to criminalization, in order for sex workers to find jobs, they have to go through underground means in order to work. Because it is criminalized sex workers are subject to dangerous clients and environments that create increased rape, assaults, and murders (specifically afflicting Black trans women). Sex workers need security measures that help them to feel safer at work. We do not support a Nordic model because it is not safe for sex workers for their clients to be criminalized for seeking consensual adult sex services and does nothing to address harm done by police interventions when people are doing sex work. The clients most likely to face arrest are Black, immigrants, and people of color which disproportionally harms already marginalized communities.
- Decriminalization creates less societal control over sex workers bodies and sexuality: All people should have control of their own bodily autonomy, self-determination and sexuality. When there is stigma placed on sexual acts between consenting adults, criminal laws attempt to legislate morality in ways that discriminates against trans and gender nonconforming people who are often targeted for walking down the street.
Affiliates and related info:
*prepared by Sex Workers Project*