Skip to content

Human Rights Victory

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — March 10, 2011 — Washington, DC



Woodhull is pleased to announce that, for the first time ever, the U.S. Federal Government has officially condemned violence and discrimination against sex workers!

We were part of an unprecedented advocacy collaboration between sex worker and sex workers rights groups, human rights advocates, academic researchers and family members of sex workers who came together in an unprecedented advocacy collaboration, now known as “Human Rights For All: Concerned Advocates for the Rights of Sex Workers and People in the Sex Trade” (HRA).

HRA urged the U.S. State Department and other policy makers to accept Recommendation 86, part of the report of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which called on the US to look into the special vulnerability of sex workers to violence and human rights abuses.

Yesterday the U.S. fully accepted UPR recommendation #86, and in doing so made history. In the report released to the United Nations, the U.S. states “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, as recommendation [#86] suggests”.

“As the first organization to ever get the issue of sexual freedom as a fundamental human right “on the table” at the United Nations meeting in Geneva earlier this year, we are especially happy to note that the Obama administration is taking human rights abuses against sex workers seriously, and is willing to stand up for what is right.”, said Woodhull’s Human Rights Program Director, RJ Thompson.

RJ helped set the stage for this effort, working with this coalition as part of our efforts in Geneva at the United Nations Universal Periodic Review. RJ continues,
“It is significant to note that this is the first time the United States has accepted that sex workers’ rights are a different issue from human trafficking victims and that sex workers’ rights are human rights.”

Sex Worker Rights ARE Human Rights, and Woodhull is proud to be part of this historic effort and will continue to work with this coalition to take ensure that steps are taken to actually improve the daily lives of sex workers.

Woodhull’s mission and vision is of a world where sexual freedom matters, and this is one concrete example of how that happens!

Efforts like this can’t happen without your support, so please, take just a moment to make a donation right now, today!


Media Contact

Ricci Levy
President & CEO
[email protected]

Sex Workers
Back To Top