Study Guide

Below are a number of texts that discuss sex worker rights perspectives on anti-trafficking strategies and policies

1.  From Bleeding Hearts to Critical Thinking: Exploring the Issue of Human Trafficking Edited by Kamala Kempadoo and Darja Davydova

Essay by Carol Leigh Page 4 – Collateral Damage: Sex Workers and The Anti-Trafficking Campaigns

2. The Impact of Anti-trafficking Legislation and Initiatives on Sex Workers

This policy brief provides a succinct outline and moving narrative of some of the problematic impacts of anti-trafficking policies on sex workers around the world. “Trafficking in persons has generated increasing global attention in recent decades, largely due to the development of international frameworks, pressure from fundamental feminist and abolitionist groups, and as a reaction to increased migration for labour… The conflation of sex work with exploitation, and the conflation of exploitative work conditions in the sex industry with trafficking, leads to harmful legislation that alienates sex workers…”

“…The issue of sex trafficking is portrayed simplistically, in black and white terms, with a clear bad guy, innocent victim, and savior. Often these films focus on the extreme, and least common, form of trafficking: a minor being abducted of f the street and transported violently across national borders to be sold at auction. These films focus on criminal perpetrators and criminal-justice solutions, rather than on the broader systemic causes of sex trafficking, like globalization, economic inequality, poverty, and ethnic, race, and gender oppressions….”

For ongoing support for classroom use including passwords contact: Collateral Damage Resources and Support at (415) 857-5425. Email info [ at ]

4. News and Commentary Based on this Project:

Anti-trafficking campaigns, sex workers and the roots of damage 

Anti-Trafficking Industrial Complex Awareness Day (Web archive, soon to be reconstructed)

The Sex Worker Media Library presents a yearly a round-up of issues that brought attention to the human rights impact of the anti-trafficking regime.
2015 Edition (Web archive, soon to be reconstructed)
2016 Edition (Temporarily Unavailable)