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A Humane Approach to Sex Work: Lawmakers from Three States Call for Action

As state legislators representing districts in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York, we believe it is the job of government to aid and protect vulnerable and marginalized people against the systems of exploitation that seek to harm and take advantage of them. That is why we support a policy of partial decriminalization, also known as the Equality Model or the Nordic Model.


NY Daily News | 01/32/23

Sen. Krueger Holds Press Conference for the Sex Trade Survivors Justice and Equality Act

On Tuesday, May 10th, 2022, Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Member Pamela Hunter and allies held a press conference in support of the Sex Trade Survivors Justice and Equality Act. This legislation would be an additional tool to prevent sex trafficking in New York.


Liz Krueger | 05/16/22

Making prostitution legal in Rhode Island: The out-of-state money behind the push

Indoor prostitution was legal in Rhode Island for decades, and survivors say the state was a hub for exploitation, trafficking and abuse. Now, out-of-state non-profits are lobbying to decriminalize or even legalize commercial sex -- and some local politicians are listening.


Boston Globe | 4/25/2022

NY can lead in protecting sex workers under the law

It is welcome news that New York is now considering the Sex Trade Survivors Justice and Equality Act, a bill to decriminalize people in prostitution. Sponsored by Sen. Liz Kreuger and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter, this law reform is long overdue.


Times Union | 04/10/22

Is Decriminalizing the Sex Trade the Answer? Debunking the ACLU's Report

The New Yorkers for the Equality Model, a survivor-led alliance of advocates, sex trafficking and prostitution survivors, presents this critique of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)’s research brief entitled “Is Sex Work Decriminalization The
Answer? What The Research Tells Us.”


NYFEM | 03/31/22

Dividing line between sex trade and sex work

There is widespread agreement about the need to avoid criminalizing victims of sex trafficking, but how should New York handle the other players involved in the sex trade, including adults who aren’t coerced into sex work or the New Yorkers who pay for sex? For answers we turned to Melanie Thompson of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and Alexi Meyers of Sanctuary for Families, who are pushing legislation that would decriminalize sex work, while still preventing it from becoming a legal profession.


The Capitol Pressroom | 03/ 14/ 22

A note about prostitution to a John (Oliver, that is)

Dear John Oliver,

You once said, “When you’re dealing with serious subjects, there is a pressure to be absolutely sure you know what you’re doing.” Unfortunately, when it comes to your recent “Last Week Tonight” segment on the sex trade — one in which you seemed to welcome turning the Big Apple into a Red Light District — you missed this mark by a mile.


Daily News | 03/09/22

What the Sex Trade Means for Black Women: A Legacy to Confront

"The path we must pave for truth and reconciliation lies not in calling for regressive laws that sentence the most vulnerable among us to the sex trade," writes Taina Bien-Aimé.


CATW | 02/28/22

New York might decriminalize sex work. But will it do so safely and responsibly?

Leftwing groups support a libertarian, free-market approach, while some sex trafficking survivors support a more cautious, regulated approach


The Guardian | 02/27/22

How to bring sex work out of the shadows

The debate over different approaches to decriminalisation


The Economist | 10/30/21

What’s the Best Way to Protect Sex Workers? Depends on Whom You Ask.

There are two competing bills in New York: One would punish pimps and customers, while the other would decriminalize the entire trade.


The New York Times | 07/23/21

Brooklyn prostitution market carries on despite storm, NYPD deterrence

Brooklyn’s open-air prostitution market was up and running over the weekend — with the only deterrence some thunderstorms that blew through Saturday into early Sunday as law enforcement continued to largely sit back and observe the brazen enterprise.


New York Post | 07/18/ 2021

To the Editor: Manhattan’s New Policy on Prostitution

"We celebrate the policy of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., of supporting survivors and declining to prosecute those bought in the sex trade," writes WorldWe Director and NYFEM member Lauren Hersh.


The New York Times | 04/23/2021

Commentary: For survivors of sex trafficking, a path toward justice and hope

Current laws in our state are not as effective, trauma-informed or victim-centered as they must to protect those at risk and help those exploited in the sex trade, writes NYFEM Coalition Member Cristian Eduardo.


Times Union | 03/08/2021

Is it time to decriminalize prostitution? Two New York bills answer yes in unique ways

One bill hopes to repeal the crime of selling sex and expand social services; the other would legalize the entire sex trade.


Big Think | 03/01/2021

Looking Beyond Binaries: The Case for Partial Decriminalization of the Sex Trade

Ending criminal penalties for sex workers is long overdue, but it’s crucial to guard against exploitation as well.


US News | 02/10/21

New York bill would decriminalize people in prostitution, punish pimps and buyers

The Sex Trade Survivors Justice & Equality Act, introduced by Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, with input from survivors and their advocates, would decriminalize prostitution in New York while holding pimps, sex traffickers and buyers accountable.


CBS News | 01/26/21

Bill to decriminalize sex work proposed in Albany

Prostitution will be decriminalized in New York state if a bill proposed by State Sen. Liz Krueger becomes law. Her proposal was hailed by Melanie Thompson, a survivor of sex trafficking and NY4EM member.


PIX 11 | 01/25/21

New bill would decriminalize, support sex workers in New York

New Yorkers for the Equality Model introduces a new bill that would decriminalize sex work in New York — while still holding pimps and buyers accountable.


New York Post | 01/25/2021

Keep punishing sex trafficking, N.Y.

NYFEM members Rebecca Zipkin & Sonia Ossorio discuss the dangers of decriminalizing the sex trade in New York City.


NY Post | 12/15/2020

The Ms. Q&A: Actor-Activist Vanessa Marano on Shifting the Trafficking Narrative to Survivors

Ms. reporter Corinne Ahrens sat down with actor-activist Vanessa Marano to unpack what the sisters are doing to re-center survivors’ stories, as well as acknowledging the work that still desperately needs to be done.


Ms. Magazine | 11/28/2020

‘It’s Out Of Control’: How QAnon Undermines Legitimate Anti-Trafficking Efforts

The child sex trade is a global crisis. Far-right conspiracy theorists are harassing, distracting and intimidating the organizations fighting to end it.


HuffPost | 09/13/2020

“Anybody can be a human trafficker.” Taina Bien-Aimé, Executive Director of CATW, on sexual exploitation, QAnon and the dangers of conspiracy theories

In a wide-ranging phone interview, Bien-Aimé talks with TMS on topics related to her work, from QAnon and the impact of conspiracy theories on the cause, to the way sexual exploitation and its ripple effects are often misunderstood by society.


The Millennial Source | 09/06/20

QAnon Followers Are Hijacking the #SaveTheChildren Movement

Fans of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory are clogging anti-trafficking hotlines, infiltrating Facebook groups and raising false fears about child exploitation.


The New York Times | 08/12/2020

PODCAST: The Heartbreaking Realities of Human Trafficking

Alexi Ashe Meyers, human rights attorney, and Melanie Thompson, a speaker and activist in ending global sex and human trafficking, discuss the untold stories of trafficking victims and what’s being done today to stop this modern-day slavery.


NSL Double Talk | 07/01/2020

Mainstreaming Pimpland in the NYC Subway System

14 NYC-based groups, mostly direct service providers, survivor-led groups, and women’s rights organizations, challenged the MTA for accepting advertising that violates its own internal rules prohibiting the promotion of illegal goods and activities, political messages or “sexually oriented business.”


Women's eNews | 04/05/20

MTA slammed for promoting ‘Sex Workers Pop-Up’ ad

The MTA displayed a series of advertisements promoting a “Sex Workers Pop-up” exhibit — breaking their own rules against “sexually oriented” ads and angering sex trafficking survivors who said they’re green-lighting an industry that’s inherently harmful.


NY Post | 03/16/20

Should sex work be decriminalized? It’s become a political issue

A group is pushing to decriminalize buying and selling sex and managing people for prostitution, but others in the sex trade community are saying it’s a terrible idea. The issue has made its way to the 2020 campaign trail. NBC senior national correspondent Kate Snow reports on TODAY.


TODAY | 01/30/20

Opponents of sex work decriminalization launch 2020 legislative fight

Opponents of the decriminalization of the adult sex trade gathered to celebrate the launch of a new coalition and legislative campaign they say will protect vulnerable people in the sex trades and hold those who purchase sex and human traffickers to account.


Queens Daily Eagle | 11/26/19

Decriminalizing the Sex Trade Isn't the Answer—The Equality Model Is

Legalizing prostitution legalizes pimping and sex buying, too. There is a better way.


Marie Claire | 11/25/19

Understanding the Sex Trade with Sarah Jones and Alexi Ashe Meyers

The gang tackles the complicated questions around sex trafficking and the legalization of prostitution. They talk about the Equality Model with survivors. And everyone holds their breath while Keith speaks.


Amy Schumer | 11/25/19

Work In Progress: Alexi Ashe Meyers

Alexi sits down with Sophia to discuss the bills to decriminalize prostitution which are popping up throughout the country, explain the Equality Model and why it's a better solution to support people in the sex trade, and share more insight.


Sophia Bush | 11/25/19

NYC could be next prostitution hub if legalized: trafficking survivors

Trafficking survivors spoke at an event in Manhattan where they detailed the “horrific” experience of being sold across the country, including in New York, and how the Big Apple is destined to be the next prostitution “hub” if the act is legalized.


New York Post | 11/19/19

Inside The Campaign to End Gender-Based Violence

Alexi Ashe Meyers chats “Lobby Baby” and the Equality Model


Wake-Up Call | 11/18/19

Activists want 2020 candidates to clarify support for decriminalizing sex work

Activists and survivors of sex trafficking are calling on 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to clarify their potential support for decriminalizing sex work, arguing that across-the-board policies could have unintended consequences.


The Hill | 10/14/19

D.C. bill would empower pimps and brothel owners — not women

OPINION: Our nation’s capital is on the brink of giving sexual predators more power, stamping legal some of the most misogynistic, exploitative conduct. And one thing’s for sure, this bill won’t keep anyone healthy or safe.


Washington Post | 10/10/19

Prostitution Is on the Verge of Being Legalized — These Women Want it to Stop

As bills to decriminalize prostitution continue popping up across the country, these advocates say there’s a better way to support people in the sex trade.


InStyle | 09/12/19

D.C.’s bill to decriminalize prostitution would hurt the people it aims to help

Editorial Board: Decriminalizing prostitution has become a priority for the progressive movement, and the movement is slowly picking up steam across the country. But council members would do well to look beyond the progressive label that has been attached to decriminalization.


Washington Post | 09/02/19

D.C.’s bill to decriminalize prostitution has a big blind spot

Is it acceptable to residents of the District that their government might decriminalize the sale of the bodies of women and men, many of them transgender, to satisfy male desires?


Washington Post | 08/30/19

There’s a way to decriminalize prostitution without putting women at risk

It’s necessary and long overdue to decriminalize individuals in the sex trade who represent some of the most marginalized members of our community. But offering legal protection to those who exploit them is a misguided and dangerous policy that threatens to turn the District into a sex tourist destination and harm the very communities the bill aims to protect.


Washington Post | 08/02/19

DC Council Bill Would Turn Our Nation’s Capital Into a Capital for Sex Tourism and Trafficking

The DC Council is considering a bill that would decriminalize the commercial sex trade in the District, enabling the abuse and trauma of more young women and girls.


Washingtonian | 07/16/19

Taina Bien-Aimé on Jeffrey Epstein’s Arrest, Alex Acosta, Fighting Sexual Trafficking and More

Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, discusses the recent arrest of Jeffrey Epstein and how it is related to her efforts to end sexual trafficking.


Democracy NOW | 07/12/19

The Case Against 'Full Decriminalization' of Sex Work

Rebecca Zipkin, attorney at Sanctuary for Families and former prosecutor in Brooklyn prosecuting cases of sex trafficking and sex crimes, and Taina Bien Aime, the executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), argue that full decriminalization will lead to the flourishing of the sex trade, often at the expense of the workers themselves.


WNYC | 07/11/19

Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes remind us of how millions of women are exploited in the sex industry

Epstein’s crimes are sweeping and flagrant, but not drastically different from what commercial sexual exploitation looks like every single day in cities across America.


NY Daily News | 07/11/19

Survivors Say No Full Decriminalization of Prostitution

An open letter from Survivors of Prostitution and Trafficking


WorldWE | 06/25/19

A big mistake on sex work: Reformers would let buyers, pimps and promoters escape criminal consequences

Advocates in New York are pushing for the full decriminalization of prostitution. If successful, people would no longer be arrested or prosecuted for selling, purchasing or facilitating (pimping) the sale of sex. 


NY Daily News | 06/05/19

Sex-trade survivor: Don’t legalize prostitution in New York

State lawmakers pushing to legalize prostitution may want to think twice.


New York Post | 06/02/19

Opinion: Legalizing Prostitution in NYS Would Ignore its True Costs

We need a legislative model shown to reduce the commercial sex market, increase safety, provide services for survivors, and hold men accountable for the crimes they commit. 


CityLimits | 05/31/19

Could Prostitution Be Next to Be Decriminalized?

Presidential candidates and state lawmakers are all debating whether to remove penalties for prostitution, a proposal that used to be taboo in most political circles.


The New York Times | 05/31/19

Gloria Steinem and Advocates Applaud NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson for His Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform

Speaker Johnson’s Call for the Equality Model is the right step to protect and promote the well-being of those who are sex trafficked and individuals in the sex trade while holding accountable those who harm them.


Sanctuary for Families | 05/20/19

Corey Rejects Full Sex Work Decriminalization

Out gay City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on May 16 voiced his opposition to the full decriminalization of sex work, breaking from other progressive politicians.


Gay City News | 05/16/19

Council Speaker tells Albany to repeal ‘archaic’ loitering law without decriminalizing sex trade

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson today urged state lawmakers to pass a bill that would eliminate the charge for “loitering for the purposes of engaging in a prostitution offense.”


Queens Daily Eagle | 05/16/19

Handmaids and Jezebels: New York Must Not Legalize Harm

New York State legislators are now proposing two bills to preserve a legacy of human chattel, defining women as vessels for economic profit.


Women's News | 05/09/19

Brooklyn DA hedges support for sex work decriminalization

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez clarified his position on the decriminalization of sex work at a panel in Manhattan Wednesday evening, outlining a proposal that could eliminate the prosecution of some prostitution-related charges, even as the policing of sex work continues.


Brooklyn Daily Eagle | 04/25/19

Dutch prostitution debate in parliament forced by youth petition

A petition is to be handed into the Dutch parliament demanding that visiting a prostitute be made illegal.


BBC News | 04/10/19

Hold buyers accountable in sex trafficking

If men were not buying, there would be no incentive for the human traffickers to channel women into these massage brothels in the first place. 


The Boston Globe | 03/26/19

Dear johns — an open letter to sex buyers

When we heard the news that Patriots owner Robert Kraft was recently charged with allegedly buying sex, we were angry and devastated. But because of our experience as trafficking survivors, we know that the real story here is not one man. 


The Boston Globe | 03/18/19

Legalization of prostitution in New York? Not on my watch!

Growing evidence shows the catastrophic effects of decriminalization of the sex trade. 


Amsterdam News | 03/14/19

A Victory Against Sex Slavery

The Florida sting operation reflects an important shift, writes an advocate for survivors of gender violence.


The New York Times | 03/06/19

Don’t pass this ‘pimp protection act’

State Sens. Jessica Ramos, Julia Salazar and Brad Hoylman, along with ­Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, announced last week that they are crafting a bill to “fully decriminalize” what they call “sex work” in the Empire State. Their agenda sounds progressive, but it should alarm anyone who cares about women’s rights.


NY Daily News | 03/04/19

Behind Illicit Massage Parlors Lie a Vast Crime Network and Modern Indentured Servitude

In a $3 billion-a-year industry, many women stay on as prostitutes in order to pay debts to smugglers, spa owners and lawyers.


The New York Times | 03/02/19

Legalize prostitution? Hell no

New Yorkers should know that the vast majority of people in prostitution were sex-trafficked as children, homeless, sexually abused, in foster care or otherwise racially and economically marginalized. 


NY Daily News | 03/01/19

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