Policing Sex Work


SWP engages in ongoing advocacy with respect to rights violations experienced by sex workers, people who are profiled as sex workers, and people who are trafficked - including profiling, misconduct, and abuse experienced at the hands of law enforcement agents in the context of policing sex work.

SWP has testified before the New York City Council Public Safety Committee with respect to the effectiveness of raids based law enforcement approaches to trafficking in persons, as well as the ability of New York City's Civilian Complaint Review Board to address gender-specific forms of police misconduct and abuse such as sexual harassment, rape, extortion of sexual acts in exchange for leniency, and overly intrusive and unlawful searches, which take place with alarming frequency in the context of policing sex work.

We are one of a number of organizations which have come together to develop and submit a comprehensive proposal for changes to the NYPD Patrol Guide which would address appropriate treatment of transgender individuals by police - which include a provision which would prohibit officers from relying on gender identity or possession of condoms as evidence that an individual is engaged or intending to engage in prostitution, as well as a provision which would explicitly prohibit the practice of engaging in overly intrusive and unlawful searches of transgender people, documented by SWP in its 2003 report Revolving Door.

SWP is also a member of the New York City Police Accountability Coalition.

Related Documents

Sex Workers Project
PDF - 316K
Testimony given by SWP's Andrea Ritchie before the Committee on Public Safety of the City Council of New York concerning the Civilian Complain Review Board.