Tonight, (November 8 at 7:30 Eastern), I will be speaking with Dr Jill McCracken about Human Trafficking and Sex Work. In particular, the difference between the two (which the anti-sex work crusade will have us believe are one and the same).
We will discuss the differences and how the association between the two does a grave disservice to both trafficked persons and people who choose to work in the sex trade. Are all sex workers victims of circumstance or coercion? And what of sexual freedom and autonomy?
Isn’t sex work like any other manual labour when it is entered into freely? Doesn’t a bricklayer sell their physical attributes as well? If so, why is sex work criminalized? If sex workers are victims of trafficking, why are they incarcerated and/or subjected to other consequences in many societies around the world?
- Amnesty International Policy to Decriminalize Sex Work | SWOP Behind Bars
- Sex Work vs Trafficking: Understanding the Difference | Alternet
- I Asked 3 Women to Talk About Sex Work & Trafficking in the U.S. | Huffpost
- Human Trafficking and Sex Work | Urban Justice Center
- Sex Work is Work: exploding the “sex trafficking” myth | New Statesman
Dr Jill McCracken is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the Co-Founder/Co-Director of Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Behind Bars, an organization that provides community support for incarcerated sex workers and connects incarcerated sex workers in US prisons and jails to the sex worker rights movement. She has worked with sex workers and victims of trafficking for over thirteen years, and her work has expanded to include women who have been or are currently incarcerated. Her primary areas of research focus on sex work and trafficking in the sex industry, the impact of sexuality education on marginalized communities, and women who are incarcerated. Drawing on ethnographic and qualitative research methods, she increasingly integrates community-based participatory research in her work with sex workers and women who are currently and formerly incarcerated. Her book, *Street Sex Workers’ Discourse: Creating Material Change Through Agential Choice*, is an analysis of street-based sex work representations, the power of everyday language, and how both influence the material conditions of individuals involved in street-based sex work (Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group 2013).
Dr McCracken has spoken at local, national, and international venues about trafficking in the sex industry, women and incarceration, and social justice organizing. She provides training on harm reduction, sex work and trafficking in the sex industry, and sexuality education and has conducted training with public defenders, human trafficking coalitions, and non-profit organizations. Her work has been recognized through many awards and honours including the Women in Research and Philanthropy USF Faculty Research Award, the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service.
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