CNN Floats ‘Decriminalizing Sex Work’ As Key to ‘Rebuilding Economy’


CNN recently argued the “decriminalizing sex work” would serve as a key to “rebuilding the economy,” proposing that an alleged Biden-Haris administration should convene a national sex worker task force.

The opinion piece landed the author, immigration attorney Sabrina Talukder, a spot on CNN’s Sunday program, “This Is Life with Lisa Ling.”

Originally published to CNN on December 6th, the piece – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, here’s how you can rebuild the economy: Decriminalize sex work – advocates for the “removal of criminal penalties for the buying and selling of sexual acts.”

In short, the Biden-Harris administration “must address the decriminalization of sex work.”

This “critical” move ought to be prioritized by a potential Biden-Harris administration “within the first four years,” prompting Talukder to float a “national task force” featuring “sex workers with diverse experiences”:

In the long term, the Biden-Harris administration should implement a national task force focused on gathering quantitative and qualitative data on sex work in the US and the impact of decriminalization. The task force must include sex workers with diverse experiences to best reflect the intersectional world of this industry. Ultimately, the task force should create an effective legislative strategy on formally decriminalizing sex work in the US within the first four years of the administration.
“If sex work is treated as legitimate labor, workers can report workplace violations and employers to the Department of Labor just like any other employee,” she adds.

The piece also highlights the experience of illegal immigrant sex workers, opening by documenting the plight of “limited options for someone who is openly trans and undocumented”:


I couldn’t fall behind on my rent, so I tried having sex for money,” Dee, an undocumented New Yorker, whispered to me when I met with her earlier this year. “My landlord knows I don’t have papers.” As her rent payment loomed, she decided to try sex work on the advice of her trans friends, who noted — accurately — that options are limited for someone who is openly trans and undocumented. […] Dee ended up seeing some customers in her home and did manage to pay her rent. But when a neighbor called the police, Dee was arrested and charged with prostitution — a potentially deportable offense.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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