This short chapter is part of a longer work: Just Sign on The Dotted Line- The Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath
“Just Sign on The Dotted Line: The Anti Prostitution Loyalty Oath” narrated by Cosi Fabian, presents a history of a policy regulating provision of foreign aid. The policy requires that recipients of USAID funds sign an oath that they will not support sex workers’ rights. This policy is a telling example of how the U.S. exports repressive ideologies through conditions set for foreign aid recipients.
Compiled for all those interested in sex workers issues and human rights, this video timeline and accompanying resources provide a comprehensive course in the history of, and resistance to “The Pledge.”
This compilation of stories and responses is based on important work by organizations including Center for Health and Gender Equity-Change (genderhealth.org), the Global Network of Sex Worker Projects (nswp.org) and Asia Pacific Network of Sex Work Projects (apnsw.org). The movie, “Taking The Pledge,”(blip.tv/sexworkerspresent/taking-the-pledge-185356) introduced activists around the world to the effects, and challenges to the Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath.
“Call to Action on Sex Work and HIV”
Sign this “Call to Action on Sex Work and HIV” and join sex workers and allies in demanding that the U.S. Government reform laws and policies that harm sex workers domestically and globally, directly inhibiting the fight against HIV/AIDS. Your endorsement will help build a movement for change.
Update: April 10, 2013 “A Supreme Court case that challenges a law requiring anti-prostitution policies policies for HIV/AIDS programs seeking federal money has generated a split among nonprofit groups that counsel sex workers overseas.reuters.com/article/2013/04/10/us-usa-court-aids-idUSBRE93904D2
Important video responses to US funding policies:
Taking The Pledge: The USAID PEPFAR Clause, Sex Work, & HIV Prevention.
Taking the Pledge is a 13-minute film featuring sex workers from Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Mali, Thailand and more! They describe the problems created by the ‘anti-prostitution pledge’ required to receive USAID and PEPFAR funds.In English, Khmer, Thai, French, Portuguese and Bengali, with English subtitles.
Hit and Run: Sex Worker’s Research on Anti trafficking in Thailand, a report from Empower Foundation, Thailand
This report and accompanying video is crucial in understanding the effects of US policies concerning sex work. “Hit and Run” exposes the impact of law and law enforcement, raids and rescues used against sex workers in Thailand and around the world. “We have now reached a point in history where there are more women in the Thai sex industry who are being abused by anti-trafficking practices than there are women being exploited by traffickers.”
empowerfoundation.org/index_en.html (download from this page)
Accompanying the report is “LAST RESCUE IN SIAM,” the first film ever made by sex workers in Thailand. This short black and white movie was inspired by the tradition of the old silent movies and has had extensive international attention in film festivals and on the web.
Bad Rehab is a dark satire, based on the Lady Gaga song, Bad Romance, from APNSW, portraying the real issues for sex workers who are forced into rehabilitation centres in South East Asia- and the anti-trafficking “rescue industry” that has sprung up and campaigns for laws and systems that restrict sex workers and promote further violence against them.
1. USAID v. AOSI Defending Free Speech for Recipients
2. PEPFAR Watch
An initiative of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), is an information clearinghouse and advocacy tool for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
pepfarwatch.org/ also see genderhealth.org/the_issues/us_foreign_policy/antiprostitution_pledge
3. THE BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE
AOSI v. USAID_Court Cases
Challenging Global AIDS Funding Restrictions
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice.The Brennan Center represents the Alliance for Open Society International (AOSI), the Open Society Institute, Pathfinder International, the Global Health Council and InterAction in a challenge to the pledge requirement, filed originally on September 23, 2005.
4. Anti-Prostitution Pledge Timeline