Demand Safety for People in Alaska's Sex Trade!
In 2012, Alaska passed a new sex trafficking law that broadly redefined all prostitution as "sex trafficking."
The law was so broad that one independent adult sex worker was charged with sex trafficking for "aiding or facilitating prostitution" - her own prostitution. In other cases, sex workers were targeted for sharing work space or sharing information about clients - things that sex workers do for safety.
The law and the ensuing cases made sex workers even more reluctant to report violent crimes, like real sex trafficking, in fear of being charged with sex trafficking themselves.In 2016, 43,117 Care2 petitioners asked the Alaska legislature to fix the bad sex trafficking law, and they did!
The legislation rightly altered the trafficking law to clarify that people who are (a) engaged in prostitution AND (b) have not induced anyone into prostitution should not be charged with sex trafficking for taking safety measures. A prostitute could still be charged with sex trafficking if they forced or coerced anybody, involved a person under 20, or had a prostitution enterprise.Right now, these measures are under attack in Senate Bill 54,
which is currently being heard in a special session of the Alaska Legislature. Senate Bill 54 proposes taking out the good language that was added in 2016 to prevent police and prosecutors from targeting sex workers and sex trafficking victims as sex traffickers. Please sign the petition and demand that legislators act to protect AS 11.66.130(b) and 11.66.135(b)!
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We the undersigned urge you to act now to preserve the protections for sex workers and sex trafficking victims that were enacted in Senate Bill 91 and are currently under attack in Senate Bill 54.
AS 11.66.130(b) and 11.66.135(b) were added to current statute via SB91 because of cases where sex workers were charged with trafficking of themselves and of each other for taking basic safety measures. The trafficking law was so broad that even genuine sex trafficking victims were afraid to report to police for fear of being charged with trafficking themselves.
The sections rightly say that a person who is (a) engaged in prostitution themselves and (b) have not induced anyone into prostitution should be charged with prostitution, not sex trafficking. They do not offer any protections for a prostitute who has a prostitution enterprise or who is accused of using force or minors in prostitution.
Section 22 of SB 54 would remove these sections. The proposed additions to replace the sections are not sufficient and would result in genuine sex trafficking victims risking sex trafficking charges themselves if they were to go to police for help.
Please act now to save AS 11.66.130(b) and 11.66.135(b).