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Whenever the sex trade is fully decriminalized or legalized, there is always an increase in sex trafficking. Find out why this happens and why the two are inextricably linked.

As part of our campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we teamed up with actress and political activist Ashley Judd (voiceover) to talk about "consent" in the sex trade. We explore the intersection of sexual abuse and the commercial sex trade which is inherently intertwined. The sex trade is one of the most exploitive, abusive and sexually violent industries worldwide and so we must ask ourselves... can money buy consent?


Sex trade survivor leaders Esperanza Fonseca, Gabrielle Prieto, and Melanie Thompson join filmmaker Sarah Jones and moderator/Equality Model advocate Mitha Choudhury in a thoughtful dialogue of the harmful misconceptions about the sex trade and the cultural battles we face as we fight for true equality.

New Yorkers for the Equality Model and the Human Rights Program at Roosevelt House, Hunter College hosted a special event, A Vision of Justice and Equality for Sex Trade Survivors, featuring a screening of sex trade survivors Joyclyn Bell, Castanita Fitzpatrick, and Melanie Thompson's film "Can Oppression Be Liberation?" The screening was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Taina Bien-Aimé, between Margot Wallström, the Former Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minster of Sweden, Cristián Eduardo, a sex and labor trafficking survivor leader and Co-founder of United Immigrants of New York, Sonia Ossorio, the Executive Director of National Organization for Women-NYC and Women's Justice NOW, and Melanie Thompson, sex trade survivor and CATW's Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator.


A review of the three primary models governing prostitution around the globe including legalization/full decriminalization, criminalization and the Equality Model. The presentation includes case studies and an analysis of each policy model's impact on rates of sex trafficking, the number of sex buyers, rates of violence against survivors of the sex trade, the involvement of organized crime in the sex trade, and the number of survivors accessing services. The presentation also includes recommendations for improving existing legislation in New York State.

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