The Sex Workers Project (SWP) recently announced an historic $1.2 million grant from the Sex Work Rights Fund (SWRF) which will allow us to expand our legislative and policy work beyond New York and into Oregon. While continuing to focus on legislative efforts in New York, SWP is building a statewide campaign in Oregon to decriminalize and destigmatize sex work, partnering with Sex Work Rights Fund (SWRF), state and local human rights organizations. Through the Decrim wORk Campaign, SWP will further our efforts to protect the human rights of sex workers and create a world that is safe for all workers and where human trafficking does not exist.
The work of SWP to build Decrim wORk is only possible because of the incredible work of local individuals and organizations who have spent years defending and protecting the rights of sex workers statewide. We seek to support and work alongside local sex workers, sex worker-led organizations, and allied groups working at the intersection of issues impacting individuals in the sex trades, including housing, healthcare, policing, and immigration. Through Decrim wORk, we will be guided by the individuals most harmed by sex work criminalization, including Transgender and Cisgender women of color, migrants, people who use drugs, individuals experiencing housing insecurity, people with disAbilities, and workers in street-based economies.
Some of the organizations already doing the critical work to decriminalize and destigmatize sex work in Oregon include:
- Decrim Oregon, a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting the human rights, civil rights and liberties, health, and safety of sex workers and people profiled as sex workers in Portland and Oregon.
- STROLL PDX, a Portland-based organization that uses a harm reduction approach in its community outreach with sex workers, focusing specifically on street outreach to low income or houseless workers.
- Portland Sex Worker Relief Fund, a mutual aid fund that aims to distribute relief to Sex Workers in the Portland metro area who are most marginalized by systemic oppression in the industry and most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By decriminalizing sex work, Oregon will become the first state to fully respect the rights, dignity, and safety of sex workers. Through decriminalization, Oregon will be ensuring the rights of sex workers and their loved ones are protected, and public health and community wellbeing are a priority. Oregon will set forth a powerful and transformative example for all states to recognize sex work as work and to protect those most marginalized from violence and abuse.
To learn more about the Decrim wORk Campaign and how to get involved, please contact Mariah Grant, Director of Research, Organizing and Advocacy: firstname.lastname@example.org