Panel on Human Trafficking at USF St, Pete Tuesday, January 26th, 7-8:30pm

10658764_10207789994615354_810778904912607485_o

Panelists representing the League of Women Voters, the Clearwater PD, Sex Workers Outreach Project Tampa Bay Area, and Immigration Law Group will discuss the different types of trafficking happening right here in the Bay Area, the difference between sex trafficking and consensual sex work, and actions we can take to prevent trafficking.

Click image to enlarge and see details.

This event is free and open to the public.

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, Events in Florida

swop-header

 

 

 

Hollywood, FL  600 S Dixie Hwy
Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 8:00 PM – Friday, December 18, 2015 at 2:30 AM

Get tickets

Translatin@ Coalition Florida Chapter is holding a fundraiser. International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers. We don’t have any support from Federal or Private Organizations for the job we already provide. The funds we raise will be used to assist Creating Change Conference January 20-24, 2016 in Chicago-IL.

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015

November 20th marks Transgender Day of Remembrance. TDOR memorializes transgender persons who have died due to hate crimes and other types of prejudice.

Tampa-local, India Clarke, 22, was murdered in July of 2015. This case got national attention as the Tampa police department continually misgendered her in interviews about the crime. This issue was later corrected in the media. Clarke’s murderer also turned himself in.

India-Clarke-Instagram-pic_1

Memorial events for all 2015 victims will be held in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. You will find details for those events as well as other memorials across Florida by clicking here. Go to this site to find TDOR events across the U,S/ and the globe.

SWOP stands in solidarity with this day, as so many transgender people have historically been killed in crimes related to sex work–whether actively working as sex workers or simply being profiled as such.

Stats from SWOP USA website:

12 trans women who engaged in sex work were murdered in United States in 2015 and comprised 29% of all U.S. sex worker homicide victims. 10 of these trans women were black. One was Latina. 10 were 35 or younger, and 50% were 25 or younger.

23% of 2012 GLBT homicides in the United States were connected to sex work, continuing a trend from 2011 and 2010 where 22% and 18% of homicides were connected to sex work.

4 in 5 trans women in D.C. have been verbally, physically or sexually assaulted. 44% of D.C. trans women were denied a job they were qualified for, 45% were discriminated against at work, and 41% have worked in the sex industry.

40 percent of transgender inmates in the United States reported sexual victimization compared to 4 percent of all inmates. Nearly one in six transgender people (16%) (including 21% of transgender women) have been incarcerated at some point, and 47% of black transgender people have been incarcerated.

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.

Black (53%) and Latino/a (34%) trans women have extremely high rates of underground work, likely related in part to structural exclusion from educational systems and dramatically higher rates of employment discrimination.

Read more here.

Amnesty International Votes to Develop Policy Encouraging All Nations to Decriminalize Prostitution

This is the press release.

Amnesty staff celebrating historic decision 12 August 2CMJJ-aBWwAYcNfv015, 17:00 UTC

A crucial vote to protect the human rights of sex workers was passed today in Dublin at Amnesty International’s decision-making forum, the International Council Meeting (ICM). Delegates from around the world adopted a resolution which authorized the International Board to develop and adopt a policy on the issue.

“Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violence and abuse. Our global movement paved the way for adopting a policy for the protection of the human rights of sex workers which will help shape Amnesty International’s future work on this important issue,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Sex workers are one of the most marginalized groups in the world who in most instances face constant risk of discrimination, violence and abuse.

Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International

The resolution recommends that Amnesty International develop a policy that supports the full decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work. The policy will also call on states to ensure that sex workers enjoy full and equal legal protection from exploitation, trafficking and violence.

“We recognize that this critical human rights issue is hugely complex and that is why we have addressed this issue from the perspective of international human rights standards. We also consulted with our global movement to take on board different views from around the world,” said Salil Shetty.

The research and consultation carried out in the development of this policy in the past two years concluded that this was the best way to defend sex workers’ human rights and lessen the risk of abuse and violations they face.

The violations that sex workers can be exposed to include physical and sexual violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, extortion and harassment, human trafficking, forced HIV testing and medical interventions. They can also be excluded from health care and housing services and other social and legal protection.

The policy has drawn from an extensive evidence base from sources including UN agencies, such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UN Women and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. We have also conducted research in four countries.
The consultation included sex worker groups, groups representing survivors of prostitution, abolitionist organizations, feminist and other women’s rights representatives, LGBTI activists, anti- trafficking agencies and HIV/AIDS organizations.

Amnesty International considers human trafficking abhorrent in all of its forms, including sexual exploitation, and should be criminalized as a matter of international law. This is explicit in this new policy and all of Amnesty International’s work.

“This is a historic day for Amnesty International. It was not a decision that was reached easily or quickly and we thank all our members from around the world, as well as all the many groups we consulted, for their important contribution to this debate. They have helped us reach an important decision that will shape this area of our human rights work going forward,” said Salil Shetty.

Sex Work, Sin, and Shame: A Pride Perspective: Unitarian Unilateralist Podcast

On Pride Weekend, 2015, SWOP Tampa member and USF professor Jill McCracken gave a talk at the St. Petersburg Unitarian Unilateralist Church. SWOP Tampa is immensely proud that Jill was invited to speak at the UU–a church that has a long community history of open–minded, compassionate faith. The description of Jill’s talk is below with a link to listen.

 

hqdefault

Sex Work, Sin, and Shame: A Pride Perspective

Join us for another installment of our guest speaker series, “100 Years of Epiphanies”. Because our third principle is the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations, we are hearing the personal stories of members and friends of this congregation as a way to live that value. We are more than just people – – we are our stories. Hearing those stories helps strengthen this congregation by deepening our understanding of one another.

Sex work, sin, and shame: What are they? How are they related? And how does our understanding shift when we explore them from a pride-ful perspective? On Pride Sunday, join Dr. Jill McCracken as she explores the relationships between sex work, gay pride, and the dignity and worth of all persons. Sex work, or the exchange of sex for money or other gain, is a foundation of Dr. McCracken’s research about language, gender, sexuality, and violence. Through and integral to this research, Jill shares her journey toward self-knowledge and healing.

SWOP Tampa Bay Celebrates Pride Weekend with a Talk at the Unitarian Universalism Church

Jill McCracken, professor at USF St. Petersburg and SWOP member, will give a talk at the UU on the weekend of LGBTQ Pride festivities.

 

Sex Work, Sin, and Shame: A Pride Perspective

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Time: 10:30am
Speaker: Jill McCracken
Worship Leader: Meredith Keith

Location
719 Arlington Avenue N.
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Join us for another installment of our guest speaker series, “100 Years of Epiphanies”. Because our third principle is the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations, we are hearing the personal stories of members and friends of this congregation as a way to live that value. We are more than just people – – we are our stories. Hearing those stories helps strengthen this congregation by deepening our understanding of one another.

Sex work, sin, and shame: What are they? How are they related? And how does our understanding shift when we explore them from a pride-ful perspective? On Pride Sunday, join Dr. Jill McCracken as she explores the relationships between sex work, gay pride, and the dignity and worth of all persons. Sex work, or the exchange of sex for money or other gain, is a foundation of Dr. McCracken’s research about language, gender, sexuality, and violence. Through and integral to this research, Jill shares her journey toward self-knowledge and healing.

 

EP-130629295

Why Did This Woman Who Was Arrested in a Prostitution Sting Die in a Florida Jail?

By Melissa Gira Grant

When a Volusia County, Florida, deputy sheriff and chaplain came to Rebecca Brogan to inform her that her sister April had died last Friday, Rebecca didn’t believe them. “You guys are wrong,” she said. “She’s in jail.”

It was Daytona Beach Police who arrested April Brogan, a 28-year-old from Palm Coast, Florida, and a mother to two young children. On April 29, they targeted her in an anti-prostitution sting, charging her with “aiding/abetting/committing prostitution.”

April had been in Volusia County Jail before, Rebecca told me. Public records confirm this: On April’s arrest report from April 29, her past involvement with drug court is noted. “They knew her,” Rebecca said. “They knew her history.”

On May 1, at 2:24 PM, two days after her cellmate reported April told her she was dope-sick, April was declared dead.

Rebecca believes her sister would be with alive today if the jail staff had given her the care she needed by properly screening her into detox, where she could be monitored by health-care professionals. “It could have saved her life,” Rebecca told me. “She could still be here.”

Representatives of Volusia County either have nothing to say or suggest they didn’t violate any protocol in the events that led to April’s death. “What protocol,” wondered her mother, Sandra, “would allow a child to die? My child?”

The Volusia County Jail warden, William McClelland, told me he would not comment on an “open investigation.”

“I don’t know, ‘investigation’ is kind of a strong term,” Volusia County spokesperson Dave Byron told me. The county sheriff’s office had been called in at the time April was found dead, and toxicology reports could take “a couple months” to come in from a medical examiner, he added. Her autopsy is not yet complete, but their “internal review,” according to Byron, has been completed.

why-did-this-woman-who-was-arrested-in-a-prostitution-sting-die-in-a-florida-jail-507-body-image-1431027268

Read full story at Vice.