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SEX WORKER RIGHTS LEADERS GAINING TRACTION AT THE UN

The human rights record of the United States will be reviewed next Monday May 11, 2015 as part of the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Derek Demeri and Monica Jones are reporting that their advocacy this week at the United Nations in Geneva is creating awareness amongst UN member states of the need to make a recommendation pertaining to sex worker rights during the UPR. “The issues that States are most interested in during our meetings are the impact of criminalization of sex work on HIV/AIDS and the ways that the laws affect both transgender people and sex workers,” explained Derek who represents the New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance, adding that, “there is a chance that a new recommendation will be made to the United States that will help us in defending the health and rights of sex workers in the long term.”

Globally recognized transgender rights advocate Monica Jones has returned to the United Nations after her trip in March earlier this year to continue advocating with delegations. She is using her well-established social media network to rally advocates globally to assist US sex worker rights representatives at this crucial time. Addressing her colleagues in Australia and New Zealand on FB she wrote,  “sex workers in the USA need your help! Please call your government and ask them to give the United States of America a recommendation to end the violence and stigmatization of sex workers. Sex work is work, we should have the same protection as anybody who has a job!”

The Universal Periodic Review of the United States will be livecast from the UN from 9 am to 12.30pm (CEST/GENEVA TIME) on Monday May 11. This is 12/midnight to 3 am Pacific Time in the United States and 3 am to 6 am Eastern. More information about the history of sex worker rights organizing during the UPR is available at the Best Practices Policy Project, highlighting the work of the Desiree Alliance, SWOP-NYC and the many other groups nationwide involved in this effort.

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