Sex Work

prostitution laws worldwide
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  • Sex work is a public health and economic issue and should be treated as such
  • Sex work diversion programs do not solve the underlying issue of poverty
  • Texas is the only state where sex workers are charged with a felony


  • Amend the Texas constitution so that  sex workers are convicted of a felony upon the 6th offense
  • illegal to pay for sex but not to offer the service (client commits crime, sex worker doesn’t)
  • sex work is legal, but brothels are illegal; sex work is not regulated
  • sex work is legal and regulated
  • Prohibit sex work for people under the age of 21
  • Prohibit the use of condoms as evidence against supposed sex workers
  • Pass raise the wage ordinances and laws to reduce the need for sex work

Texas Constitution
Code – Penal Code
Chapter – 43 Public Indecency

Code – Health and Safety Code
Chapter – 169 First Offender Prostitution Prevention Program

Dallas Observer – Eleven Years Later After Making Prostitution a Felony, Lawmakers Realize They Made a Mistake

Texas Observer – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to Prostitutes: Go to Jail

The Nation – Why Do Sex-Work Diversion Programs Fail?

Business Insider – The Strange Story Of How Rhode Island Accidentally Legalized Prostitution

Wall Street Journal – Researchers: Decriminalized Prostitution in Rhode Island Led to Fewer Rape, Gonorrhea Cases

The Atlantic – Alaska’s Prostitution Law Isn’t Working

The Atlantic – Ex Porn Stars Are the 99 Percent

Yes Magazine – 3 Myths About Sex Work That Harm Everyone

Pew – More States Separate Prostitution, Sex Trafficking

New York Times – Labor Laws, Not Criminal Laws, Are the Solution to Prostitution

New York Times – Swedish Town Rejects Proposal to Grant Sex Leave to Workers

Globe and Mail – Sweden’s prostitution solution

Globe and Mail – A prostitution solution: Outlaw the customers, not the hookers

MIC – 16 Years Since Decriminalizing Prostitution, Here’s What’s Happening in Sweden

The Guardian – Swedish prostitution law is spreading worldwide – here’s how to improve it

The Guardian – Call for change in law to protect prostitutes from violent crime

Independent – Legalizing prostitution: Has Sweden’s law prosecuting buyers, not sellers worked?

Independent – New Zealand ‘the best country to work as a prostitute’, says sex worker advocacy group

Slate – There’s no way to end demand for sex work. So why are Sweden and Canada trying?

Slate – Why Is Prostitution Illegal?

Business Insider – Sex worker explains the difference between legalizing and decriminalizing prostitution

Business Insider – 7 Reasons Why America Should Legalize Prostitution

Business Insider – Police Arrest Women for Carrying Condoms

New Republic – The Problem With the “Swedish Model” for Sex Work Laws

Salon – 4 reasons to decriminalize prostitution

Washington Times – U.N. report calls for decriminalizing prostitution

National Bureau of Economic Research – Decriminalizing Indoor Prostitution: Implications for Sexual Violence and Public Health

USA Today – World’s biggest human rights group wants to legalize prostitution

Think Progress – Top State Senator Calls For Texas’ Felony Prostitution Law To Be Repealed

Think Progress – How LGBT People Would Benefit From The Decriminalization Of Sex Work

Think Progress – Faced With Overcrowded Prisons, Chicago Considers Ending Felony Arrests For Prostitution

Think Progress – These 3 Graphs Could Change Your Mind About Legalizing Sex Work

Think Progress – Strippers Notch Significant Victory In Quest To Be Treated Fairly

Amnesty International – Q&A: policy to protect the human rights of sex workers

Washington Post – Sweden takes on Amnesty International in debate over legalizing prostitution

New York Post – Why sex workers love their jobs in New Zealand

Forbes – One Benefit Of Legalized Prostitution Seen In New Zealand

BBC – Sex trade legislation: How do you protect prostitutes?

Al Jazeera – NYC to stop using condoms as evidence – in some cases

Jezebel – Carrying Condoms Can Get You Arrested For Prostitution

Mother Jones – When Having Condoms Gets You Arrested

Human Rights Watch – State Response to Sex Workers, Drug Users and HIV in New Orleans

Human Rights Watch – US: Police Practices Fuel HIV Epidemic

Human Rights Watch – Sex Workers at Risk Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution in Four US Cities

Rolling Stone – 5 Reasons Decriminalization Protects Sex Workers’ Rights

Economist – Why decriminalising sex work is a good idea

Los Angeles Times – California lawmakers advance bill to decriminalize prostitution for minors

Alternet – Sex Work vs. Trafficking: Understanding the Difference

Newstateman – Sex work is work: exploding the “sex trafficking” myth

Huffington Post – Why The Anti-Trafficking Vs. Sex Work Debate Is Doing Damage To Women’s Rights

Huffington Post – Now Is The Time To Decriminalize Sex Work

Open Society Foundation – Understanding Sex Work in an Open Society

VICE – How Hong Kong’s Patchy Sex Work Laws Enable Predatory Cops

VICE – The Insidious Myth of the ‘Unrapeable’ Sex Worker

Vice – Undercover cops can still sleep with sex workers in Michigan

Rolling Stone – How Sex Workers Are Fighting Back Against Trump

Rewire – Resisting the Sex Panic: Sex Workers Struggle for Evidence-Based Regulation in Nevada

Cosmopolitan – What It’s Like to Work in a Legal Nevada Brothel

Cato Institute – Treating Sex Work as Work

City Lab – How D.C. Finally Stopped Punishing Sex Workers for Carrying Condoms

A court in Colombia stands up for sex workers

Cape Town sex workers get their own clinic in a South African first

Push to decriminalise sex work in South Australia one step closer as bill goes to Legislative Council

The Economist – Venezuelans sell sex in Colombia to survive

How LA County Began to Face Its Big Problem With Youth Being Sex-Trafficked

The Guardian – Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars