Prostitution is often referred to as one of the oldest professions in the world. Despite having that designation, sex work is still frowned upon and is illegal across the country. Two New York senators are hoping to change that by introducing a bill that would decriminalize sex work and remove any prior prostitution charges from a sex worker’s record. If the bill passes, New York will be the first state to legalize prostitution in the country.
Sen. Jessica Ramos and Sen. Julia Salazar with Decrim NY, an advocacy group, introduced the bill at the New York State Assembly this week. If it passes, it will make purchasing or selling sex legal but under specific circumstances. In hopes of ensuring a safer environment for sex workers, the bill will regulate where prostitution can take place. As stated above, any charges concerning prostitution will be expunged from records, BUT any prostitution near a school remains a misdemeanor, plus any charges of sex trafficking concerning minors will remain a crime under the new penal code if passed.
Speaking on the new bill, Ramos added :
“We want to bring sex workers out of the shadows and ensure that they are protected. We will finally make strides against trafficking by empowering sex workers to report violence against them. Sex work is work, and everyone has an inherent right to a safe workplace.”
As expected, there are those who feel that decriminalizing sex work won’t make conditions safer at all. Rebecca Zipkin and Alexi Meyers, who work for a nonprofit group that advocates for sex trafficking victims, made their case as to why making sex work legal could only make things worse instead of better for. Zipkin added:
“Most often, it increases sex trafficking. If you legalize, you are condoning brothels to become businesses and pimps to become business managers. That’s what we’ve seen around the world. The argument about safety is false.”
Sounds like New York is on right progressive path when it comes to this matter. Do you think decriminalizing sex work is the right move? Sound off in our mentions.