On Thursday, June 3, Oregon sex workers and harm reduction experts testified to legislators on why they should support the repeal of prostitution related offenses and statutes, and full decriminalization of sex work.
Questions from media was invited and our sex worker interviewees requested varying degrees of privacy via zoom. The press conference included speakers from a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise related to the adult industry, trafficking, and public policy.
House Bill 3088 to repeal prostitution statutes in Oregon was sponsored by Rep. Rob Nosse in early 2021 but failed to receive a scheduled hearing in this session; our sex-worker led commission hopes to influence legislators to revisit the bill in 2022 and beyond.
July 15th in Portland we will host the first ever Human Rights Commission event, available to guests and live-streaming invitees only.
Speakers will present arguments on why criminalization harms sex workers, and why decriminalization is essential to protecting the human rights of those working in the adult industry. Speakers will also address why decriminalization is key to fighting trafficking by focusing resources on actual coercion and abuse, rather than on consenting adults.
Based on testimony and research, the Commission will release a formal report of public policy recommendations by August 15th, 2021.
"For the dignity, protection, and human rights of sex workers, we are pursuing a public policy shift towards the decriminalization and the destigmatization of sex work in Oregon. To this end, the Oregon Sex Workers Committee is sponsoring and organizing the first-ever Human Rights Commission for sex workers based in Oregon,” said Elle Stanger, writer, sex worker and educator, and Lead Event Coordinator.
The committee is comprised exclusively of sex workers, has over fifty members, and is growing rapidly. A secondary allies’ committee has also formed. Both meet weekly. To get involved, please email email@example.com.
“The July 15th event and subsequent recommendations report will highlight scientific studies, leading national experts, and sex workers testifying to the violent impacts of criminalization. Our hope is that this will educate the public on the realities of sex work, and help launch a swift change in Oregon’s public policy,“ said Alex Andrews, who serves as Commission Co-Chair and is the Executive Director of Sex Workers Outreach Project Behind Bars (SWOP Behind Bars).
Oregon Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward recently said, "As a family physician and proponent of evidence-based policy, I support efforts to decriminalize sex work in Oregon. The research behind this movement is clear: criminalization only keeps sex workers vulnerable to violence, incarceration, displacement, and potentially life-threatening health risks. All Oregonians deserve access to physical and mental health care—and legal resources—without fear of retaliation."
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join in our historic efforts.