FOSTA/SESTA

5-21FOSTASESTA.jpg

Your DGB for today is to support sex workers by signing this online petition to repeal FOSTA/SESTA.

FOSTA/SESTA is a set of bills, signed into law last month, that look good on the surface. The legislation is an attempt to fight sex trafficking by making websites such as Craigslist, where trafficking is often organized/solicited, responsible for the crime. The hope is that this will make it much harder for sex traffickers to do business as platforms and sites censor themselves in order to avoid trouble. However, sex workers say the legislation is fatally flawed because it doesn’t distinguish between consensual sex work and sex trafficking. In making the internet less hospitable for sex traffickers, it also pushes sex workers off-line and onto the streets. “When they’re forced onto the streets to find clients, sex workers have fewer advance safety precautions in place, no ability to effectively pre-screen clients, and no way to ensure that they work in safe, secure locations.” https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/13/17172762/fosta-sesta-backpage-230-internet-freedom In addition, many - including our own DOJ - argue that the bill won’t even help the victims of trafficking to begin with.

As Aviva Dove-Viebahn said in Ms. magazine, “Even if our opinions on the sex work industry diverge, we can all agree that being a sex worker–whether by choice, circumstance or force–should not disqualify someone from basic human dignity, care and respect.” In light of this, repealing these flawed bills is the sanest choice.