Sex Work and Human Rights

My Friend’s Rights are Human Rights!

“I am not a hooker. I’m a sex worker!” (left)
“Don’t stigmatise us! Don’t oppress us!” (right)

As I was about to write “Sex Workers Rights are Human Rights” as a title for this photo, I thought about what my friend Hyeri and I talked about last night, when I stuttered as I was about to say the word ‘성노동자’ (seongnodongja, Korean für ‘Sexworker’) for the zillionth time that day. When I said that I don’t think it’s right anyway to use this term over and over again when I talk about a friend, she agreed with me and commented that first and foremost, she wants to be perceived as a human being, and not just as a sex worker. Or do you usually address your friends with their job titles?

5 responses

  1. Your friend Hyeri is right; I was and still I am struggling to become recognized foremost as a human being. Existentially. Then I found out that sexwork described as a profession and the fight for social and political rights is the main basis to become recognised as a human being. The term “Sexwork” and its social and political dimensions means to define a profession, not the nature of a human beeing. The nature of people who work in the sex biz are usually described by societal discourses and undermine subjectivity and self-determination, reduce people to a very simplistic function; cynically by moral reasons. Why? The moral complex code embeds sexuality with exclusive love to fulfill the mode of reproduction and the state doctrine. Purposeless sexuality hinder these efforts of legitimacy. Together with the abstract nature of money and the trade of commodities paid sex becomes a commercial good and devalue the human being that exchange time and intimacy. The exchange of money makes the trade un-human, cause the disappearance of the individual self. This is what I personally found out.

    July 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

  2. Eyram Folly DJAGOUE

    Sex Workers Rights are effectively Human Rights. But I think that it will be better to help women to build their life without using that way.

    July 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    • Thanks for your comment. I believe that women (as well as men and transgender) should be allowed to build whatever lives they please. If they choose to work as sex workers because they have no other economically viable option, then I agree with you that other opportunities should be provided for them. If they wish to be sex workers, however, or if they choose to remain sex workers despite other available options, then your opinion that other walk of lives would be better for them shall remain just that – your opinion. In my view, “everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.” Article 23.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

      July 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

  3. Pingback: A Letter from a South Korean Sex Worker « Research Project Korea

  4. Pingback: March 3rd ☂ International Sex Workers’ Rights Day | Research Project Korea

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