Protect Sex Workers: Repeal Alaska's Failed "Anti-Sex Trafficking" Law!

In 2012, Alaska passed a sex trafficking law that redefined many things sex workers do to increase our safety, like working together or indoors, as "sex trafficking," effectively turning safety measures into felonies.

Please sign the petition to demand Alaska repeal its anti-sex trafficking law!

Alaska's definition of "trafficking" is broad and includes all prostitution. Instead of focusing on tackling coercive situations and the exploitation of minors, Alaska's law defines trafficking broadly, as anything that "institutes or aids prostitution" and in specific ways that target women working together.

Under federal law, sex trafficking involves force, fraud, or coercion, but under Alaska's new law all prostitution is sex trafficking.

In its first few years, the law was used exclusively against sex workers who were charged with prostitution of themselves in the very same cases they were charged wtih sex trafficking. One woman was even charged with trafficking herself! The law negatively affects sex workers and threatens our ability to keep safe.

On August 14, Amber Batts will be sentenced to 4 to 10 years in prison for providing safety services to sex workers, including a safe work environment and extensive screening of new clients.

For my recent graduate research at the University of Alaska, I surveyed 40 people with recent experience in Alaska’s sex trade. More than a quarter said they had been sexually assaulted by a police officer, and when they tried to report to police that they had been the victim or witness of a crime they were turned away more than half of the time and threatened with arrest about a third of the time. Now when people in Alaska’s sex trade try to report a crime – like sex trafficking – they don’t just worry about being arrested for prostitution, they have to consider that they could be charged with multiple counts of felony sex trafficking.

Amnesty International just joined Human Rights Watch, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, the United Nations Development Programme, UN Women and UNAIDS in recommending protecting the human rights of sex workers by decriminalizing every aspect of adult consensual sex work. It’s time for Alaska to, at the least, stop making safety a jail sentence for women in the sex trade.

Please sign the petition to demand Alaska repeal its anti-sex trafficking law!

We the undersigned urge you to repeal Alaska's anti-sex trafficking law. Alaska's definition of "trafficking" is broad and includes all prostitution. Instead of focusing on tackling coercive situations and the exploitation of minors, Alaska's law defines trafficking broadly, as anything that "institutes or aids prostitution" and in specific ways that target women working together.

Under federal law, sex trafficking involves force, fraud, or coercion, but under Alaska's new law all prostitution is sex trafficking.

Tara Burns, the author of "People in Alaska's Sex Trade: Their Lived Experience and Policy Recommendations," surveyed 40 people with recent experience in Alaska’s sex trade. More than a quarter said they had been sexually assaulted by a police officer, and when they tried to report to police that they had been the victim or witness of a crime they were turned away more than half of the time and threatened with arrest about a third of the time. Now when people in Alaska’s sex trade try to report a crime – like sex trafficking – they don’t just worry about being arrested for prostitution, they have to consider that they could be charged with multiple counts of felony sex trafficking.

Amnesty International just joined Human Rights Watch, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, the United Nations Development Programme, UN Women and UNAIDS in recommending protecting the human rights of sex workers by decriminalizing every aspect of adult consensual sex work. It’s time for Alaska to, at the least, stop making safety a jail sentence for women in the sex trade.

Thank you.
Update #26 months ago
Thanks for your past support in helping to pass SB91 last year! Rollbacks to SB91 are now being put forward in SB54. Please join us in opposing testimony to SB54 by going to your local legislative information office (find the closest to you here) on Friday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m. Please share this petition on Facebook to spread the word. Thanks!
Update #1about a year ago
Your signature made a difference! SB91, a criminal justice reform bill that will reduce recidivism & save Alaska over $380M, includes language to clarify the difference between prostitution and sex trafficking. It will also allow victims/witnesses to report some felonies without being charged with prostitution!

Please email or call Gov. Walker today and tell him to sign SB91! Call: 907-465-4021 Email: http://bit.ly/1W2TcAD Join our email list: www.sextraffickingalaska.com
Sign Petition
Sign Petition
You have JavaScript disabled. Without it, our site might not function properly.

privacy policy

By signing, you accept Care2's terms of service.

Having problems signing this? Let us know.