UN Universal Periodic Review of US Human Rights

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UN Universal Periodic Review of US Human Rights


This year, the United States participated in a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – a process set up by the Human Rights Council at the United Nations to assess the level of human rights in each country. The U.S. received more than 200 recommendations.

Recommendation 86 called on the Obama Administration to “…ensure access to public services paying attention to the special vulnerability of sexual workers to violence and human rights abuses.”

The Sex Workers Project joined a coalition, Human Rights for All: Concerned Advocates for Sex Workers and People in the Sex Trade, to convince lawmakers to accept Recommendation 86.

What’s happening

Last week, the U.S. released its report to the UN saying, “We agree that no one should face violence or discrimination in access to public services based on sexual orientation or their status as a person in prostitution.” On March 18th, in Geneva, the U.S. formally endorsed UN Recommendation 86.

We believe this is the first time the United States has affirmed the need for human rights protections for sex workers.

What you can do

  • Send a letter of thanks: Thank the Department of State for officially condemning violence and discrimination against sex workers. You can use our letter (PDF, 299K) as an example.
  • Write letters to the editor, tweet, blog and spread the word: Here is a press release (PDF, 74K) to get you started.
  • Learn more: about the UPR process in this guide from the Human Rights Project (PDF, 1.7MB).


If passed this bill will stop police and prosecutors from using possession of condoms as evidence of engagement or intent to engage in prostitution

Check its status


We welcome your questions and comments

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Email: swp@urbanjustice.org

Visit our website at: https://sexworkersproject.org


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