The City of West Hollywood is joining the Sex Workers Outreach Project LA (SwopLA) for a panel discussion on sex work, the oldest trade in the world. “Fighting Discrimination and Reducing Stigma: A Panel Discussion on Sex Work” will take place on Thursday, August 29, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.
This discussion will feature the voices of sex workers themselves to highlight the issues of violence, discrimination, and harassment often faced by those who engage in sex work. The discussion will help educate the community on the lived experience of sex workers, reduce stigma, and provide resources for further education and advocacy.
For those not in the know, sex workers are female, male and transgender adults who have consensual sex in exchange for money or goods, either regularly or occasionally. Sex work may or may not involve physical contact. Under this definition, sex workers include (but are not limited to): escorts, strippers, professional dominants and submissives, fetish & fantasy performers, erotic massage providers, sex surrogates, phone sex operators, porn performers, and more.
A West Hollywood press release for the event states that sex workers are among the most vulnerable people in society and are often subjected to violence, discrimination, and harassment. People who engage in sex work are entitled to respect for the full-range of their human rights on the basis of equality and non-discrimination. Many of the human rights challenges, vulnerabilities and barriers sex workers face are due to criminalization and the restrictive laws, regulations, and practices they face. Selling and/or buying sex is partially or fully criminalized in at least 39 countries. In many more countries some aspect of sex work is criminalized, and in other countries general criminal law is applied to criminalize sex work (for example, laws against loitering and vagrancy).
Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) is a national social justice network with a local Los Angeles Chapter working to address sex workers’ discrimination. The organization is dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education, community building, and advocacy. SWOP is committed to the safety, autonomy, and human rights of people in the sex trade, and works to highlight the fact that violence against sex workers is also violence against transgender individuals, against people of color, against drug users, and against immigrants.
The discussion is free to attend, but RSVP is requested at https://reducing-stigma-panel-on-sex-work.eventbrite.com.
For more information, contact the City of West Hollywood’s Senior Management Analyst, Andi Lovano at (323) 848-6333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.