On Friday, December 2nd, participating southern nonprofits will hold a Sex Worker Summit in Asheville, North Carolina to discuss issues affecting sex workers of male, female and transgender experience and the communities in which they live. Human rights violations against sex workers are increasing all over the south. The Summit will bring together nonprofits, academics, law enforcement and advocates serving sex workers, people who exchange sex for money or other favors, as well as victims of sexual violence, abuse and social marginalization to address these issues and to look for viable solutions.
Among participating nonprofits, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition is a state-wide nonprofit that utilizes the harm reduction model to curb the spread of diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV among sex worker populations. Our VOICE, Inc. is a non-profit crisis intervention and prevention agency that serves victims of sexual violence in Buncombe County, North Carolina. HIPS’ (Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive) is a Washington D.C. based nonprofit whose mission is to assist female, male, and transgender individuals engaging in sex work to lead healthy lives. Finally, Women With A Vision of New Orleans works to improve the lives of marginalized women, their families, and communities by addressing the social conditions that hinder their health and well-being.
“Human rights violations and disease among the sex worker community are public health and safety issues that affect us all,” says Robert Childs, Executive Director of the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition. “This Summit will enable free discussion among sex workers, nonprofit partners and the community. It’s a great opportunity to put these issues on the table and talk about what should be done.”
“Everyone has human rights- including sex workers and people who exchange sex for money, favors or survival,” says Megan McLemore, Senior Researcher at Human Rights Watch. “This will be a great opportunity to discuss ways to improve the health, safety and dignity of people whose voices need to be heard.”
WHAT: Sex Worker Summit
WHO: Hosted by the NC Harm Reduction Coalition, Our Voice, Women With a Vision, and Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive
WHEN: Friday, December 2nd from 9am-4:30pm
WHERE: Haywood Street Congregation, 297 Haywood Street, downtown Asheville
North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition