Harm reduction and Human Rights (both) for Sex Work Plenary

I know some activists going to a harm-reduction conference called CLAT5 in Porto (Portugal) in the near future, where I’m to give a plenary talk at the opening session. The description of the conference in English: ‘Our aims for this event are to rethink – in a transnational way – the future of harm reduction and to question the actual (current) consensus about its policies and practices of intervention. For this we will stimulate a critical discussion based on the concepts and practices linked with harm reduction and also bring to the debate issues of human rights, South-North and East-West inequalities and social dialogue among key actors.’

I understand some people in the harm-reduction field don’t think sex work should be there and that it was a close thing whether any plenary speaker would address it. And I know that some people don’t like harm reduction as a way of thinking about sex work.  To put this in context, the conference has 6 streams:

1 Drugs on the Street
2 Parties: Pleasures Management and Risks Reduction
3 Alcohol and Harm Reduction
4 Sex: Pleasures, Risks and Sexual Work
5 Other addictions
6 Human Rights and Penal Control

There are five panels addressing sex/sex work and several good activists will speak, mixed with outreach/academic folk. Sex-work activists have gone to other harm-reduction conferences, of course, but here I’m to talk about human rights AND harm reduction, which feels challenging because they are both theoretical frames for thinking about the issues. And since globalisation is another of the event’s keywords I can talk about trafficking and anti-demand politics as well, but I’d rather not just spout a string of platitudes. Any ideas or tips from past experience?

Thanks, Laura

Laura María Agustín  Border Thinking

NY State Condom Legistlation CALL TO ACTION

The No Condoms Bill is before the Assembly for a vote and we urgently need you to call, email and fax your Assembymembers and let them know they should vote FOR bill A3856. It could come to a vote today or early next week! Thank you for all your support thus far!

If you could take a moment to:

· Look up your Assemblymember, either by where you live, where your organization is located, or both! Call the Assembly Public Information Office a: 518-455-4218, or you can use your zipcode to search on this site: www.votesmart.org.

· Call their Albany office. Attached is a list of talking points.

· Fax their Albany office with a memo of support – attached is the one we are sending today you can use as a model.

· Email them directly with a letter of support (CC ahardikar@urbanjustice.org if you can!)

Phone Talking Points

Memo in Support from SW

You should do this before Wed. June 10th, 2009 But the sooner the better!

Thank you Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center! We love all of your work on this!

SWOP-LA @ ADULTCON…can u say dental..DAAAAAMMM?

the_adultcon_logo.jpgpneadultcongroupshot.jpgMariko Passion, Courtney, volunteer Jamez and the kind folks at Extenz and Explosion male herbal enhancement products let us use their stage and mic to do some safe sex work demos with dental dams and flavored condoms. The crowd loved it. Adultcon was the entire weekend of 9/22-24 and it was an exhaustive outreach effort selling t-shirts, performing demos and shouting at people to make donations. It was a good outreach effort, truly a non profit effort as the booth was not donated to us, but at least we did not LOSE any money. We garnered support from the hetero porn watchers, AND most importantly garnered support form a few key PORN STARS who have tried or currently do try their hands at being whores/escorts themselves. They were not only supportive, but willing to do content trades to do safe sex work porn with me/us in the future!!

SWOP-LA has made an important PARTNERSHIP with WOMEN ALIVE, an HIV/AIDS non profit that is the reason that we have the safe sex tools to give away to other sex workers and clients at events like adultcon. Alma, from Women Alive was a member of SWOP-LAS VEGAS last year and has since moved to LA and already helped SWOP-LA in amazing ways. We are returning to Venice Beach to do a safer sex work outreach demo TOMORROW, 9/29/07. come find the action if you live nearby!

View HOT FOOTAGE FROM ADULTCON NOW!!courtneymariko.jpg