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News > World

Alaska's Sex Worker Struggle

Published 12 December 2014

A new documentary made for teleSUR looks into the challenges and criminalization that Alaskan sex workers face. 

The Laura Flanders Show investigates the connections between homelessness and sex workers in Anchorage, Alaska in this week's documentary, made for teleSUR. Focusing on the fight for sex workers' rights, the documentary looks at the complex political debate surrounding sex workers and sex trafficking.

''I have been homeless for 125 days now. You have to be with someone at all times, otherwise you are going to get beat up or raped or robbed. I've been all three,'' explains Esther Brown of the Tlingit Nation. Countless women turn to sex work as an only option building their own networks and community.

Kate Mogulescu from the Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project explains, ''There is a pretty widespread conflation of prostitution and trafficking. We see this in all our anti-trafficking initiatives. Really, when you strip them down they end up being anti-prostitution initiatives.''

As such, ''Seventy-five percent of the people who have been arrested for sex trafficking in Alaska have allegedly been prostitutes,'' and 50 percent of those women were arrest for trafficking themselves according to Community United for Safety and Protection. The organization, a group for sex workers, former sex workers, victims of human trafficking and their allies defends community based initiatives and networks that challenge the criminalization of sex workers.

The documentary features the voices and views of sex workers who shed light on how the criminalization of rape denies ''women on the margins'' their rights.

For the teleSUR co-sponsored production of the weekly Laura Flanders Show, click here.

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