The St. Louis Democratic Socialists of America (STL DSA) expresses its deep opposition to the recent passage of the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act/Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (FOSTA/SESTA), and stands in solidarity with sex workers nationwide and around the world.
While sex trafficking is a serious problem around the world, the passage of FOSTA/SESTA will do little to curb this concerning issue. Instead, as has been seen by recent actions taken by and against Craigslist, Backpage, and other popular sites, FOSTA/SESTA has removed the ability for consensual sex workers to safely and efficiently find clients online, driving many of these workers onto the street out of economic need, where violence and police oppression is a frequent reality. FOSTA/SESTA is already harming the fight against sex trafficking. Multiple organizations have stated that online sources have long made it easier to safely recover victims, and they are now reporting that this legislation has already caused an increase in victimization and death.
As democratic socialists, we believe in recognizing the dignity and worth of all workers, including sex workers. All workers deserve a safe working environment and the ability to engage in their activities without moralistic legislation targeting their chosen field and preventing them from organizing to maintain their rights. We urge all of our comrades across the United States and around the world to express their opposition to FOSTA/SESTA and any similar laws, and to assist in any way they can with programs that are designed to protect sex workers.
The STL DSA Executive Committee