Sex Worker Safety Legislation in Vermont, Oregon, and U.S. Congress

Mar 11, 2022

On March 1, 2022 at a Town Meeting in Burlington Vermont, more than 60% of residents voted to repeal harmful language in the city’s charter, which included a mandate to, “restrain and suppress houses of ill fame and disorderly houses, and to punish common prostitutes and persons consorting therewith.” Final approval is dependent on Vermont’s Governor and Legislature, but the voters have spoken, thanks to the advocacy of a coalition including The Ishtar Collective and Safe Sex Work Vermont

In Oregon, the Sex Worker Rights campaign has refiled its petition to begin gathering signatures for the November 2022 ballot. The ballot initiative called the Sex Worker Rights Act will protect sex workers from discrimination in the workplace and in custody disputes, and offer whistleblower protections.

And finally! On March 3, 2022, which happens to be International Sex Worker Rights Day, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden, and Representatives Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee, reintroduced the Safe Sex Workers Study Act to United States Congress. This legislation, which we mentioned in our last episode, asks for a national, robust study of the impact of the 2018 FOSTA/SESTA law on people who trade sex — focusing on topics such as health, safety, dependence, violence, trafficking, and economic security. 

This Act is cause for celebration, because it sets a new precedent in the creation of evidence-informed policy decisions that affect marginalized communities. Shout out to the coalition of activists including Sex Worker Project at Urban Justice Center and AIDS United for their continued work on this issue.

Excerpted From: Unapologetically Generational / Old Pro News

Vermont Legislation: Burlington Voter Referendum / Safe Sex Work Vermont 

Oregon Legislation: Sex Worker Rights Campaign Refiles Petition for Decriminalization / Willamette Week

National Legislation: The SAFE SEX Workers Study Act