7th Annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Friday is the 7th Annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.  From Bound Not Gagged:

We stand against the cycle of violence experienced by sex workers around the world. Recently in Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Council reviewed the human rights record of the United States during their Universal Periodic Review. Uruguay’s recommendation to the Obama Administration – to address “the special vulnerability of sexual workers to violence and human rights abuses” – is the moral leadership we have been waiting for!

Join us in solidarity to fight the criminalization, oppression, assault, rape and murder of sex workers – and of folks perceived as sex workers.

December 17, 2003 was our first annual day to honor the sex workers who were murdered by serial killer Gary Ridgway. In Ridgway’s own words, “I also picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.” (BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3245301.stm)

In Canada, we have the horrible legacy that left nearly 50 women dead on a pig farm near Vancouver, and more that keep disappearing.  Yet in the midst of that, the Conservative government is trying to undermine Sisters In Spirit.

The Conservative government is opposing the use of the name Sisters in Spirit and any work on a groundbreaking database on murdered and missing Aboriginal women cases if the Native Women’s Association of Canada expects to receive any funding for new projects on the issue, sources say.

If you are Canadian and want to do something to mark the day, MP Irene Mathyssen is preparing a paper petition to call for renewing funding so SIS can keep working to combat the pattern of missing and murdered women in Canada, many of whom are at the crossroads of being sex workers and Aboriginal.

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