Urban Justice Urban Justice Center individual rights - social change


Sex Workers

Created in December 2001, the Sex Workers Project is the first program in New York City and in the country to focus on the provision of legal services, legal training, documentation, and policy advocacy for sex workers. Using a harm reduction and human rights model, the SWP protects the rights and safety of sex workers who by choice, circumstance, or coercion remain in the industry.

The SWP provides critical information to policymakers, activists, and the media on the human rights abuses faced by sex workers and those who are at risk for engaging in sex work. We use documentation-based advocacy, policy analysis, training and education, and collaboration with community-based service providers to advance practical, long-term solutions to the problems faced by this vulnerable and marginalized population. We document the lives of sex workers and put a human face on violations of their human rights.

The SWP works to ensure that the criminal justice system appropriately responds to the needs of sex workers; that victims of trafficking in persons have access to legal and other benefits; and that community-based service providers who work with sex workers have the expertise to assist them. The SWP works in the following areas: criminal justice reform; trafficking in persons; and human rights documentation.

To learn how to access our services, visit our Get Help link. For additional information, please visit www.sexworkersproject.org and contact us at: swp@urbanjustice.org. For media inquiries, please contact Sienna Baskin at (646) 602-5695. For an appointment or further questions, please call our warmline at (646) 602-5617.

News and Events

Sex Worker’s Project Co-Director Crystal DeBoise On HuffPost Live

SWP Co-Director Crystal DeBoise spoke on a Huffington Post Live discussion panel, responding to issues arising from a new NIJ study that looked at the economies of prostitution in the US. Issues discussed included the legitimacy of the study as well as the legalization of prostitution and the remaining stigma against sex workers. DeBoise discussed human trafficking in the context of sex work as well as the benefits of decriminalizing prostitution.

SWP's Sienna Baskin on "All In"

Sex Workers Project Co-Director Sienna Baskin debates sex work legalization on All In with Chris Hayes, from the March 13, 2014 show.

Internships & Externships

The Sex Workers Project has interships and externships available; see this page for details.

Most Recent Press

VIDEO "SWP's Baskin Debates Sex Work Legalization with Chris Hayes," All In with Chris Hayes (MSNBC), March 13, 2014

PDF "Sex trade in eight cities, including Kansas City, is worth nearly $1 billion," Kansas City Star, March 12, 2014

PDF "Sex and the Law Week: Sex Work and Labor Issues," Brooklyn Law School, March 11, 2014

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  • Phone: 646.602.5600
  • Fax: 212.533.4598