BOSTON (WWLP) – There has been a national movement to better protect sex workers and there is a set of bills on Beacon Hill that would do just that.
At a briefing Wednesday at the State House, advocates reflected on the need to change the laws revolving around sex work to better protect those who are the most vulnerable. There is a House and Senate version of this bill, both entitled an act to strengthen justice and support for sex trade survivors.
At the briefing were district attorneys, multiple lawmakers, and representatives from the State Police and the attorney general’s office.
What the bill would ultimately do is decriminalize prostitution and expunge the records of trafficking, and sex trade survivors from all previous prostitution charges. This would not decriminalize the act of buying sex, however. Advocates made it clear that they are not in favor of full decriminalization, saying full decriminalization does not help those being exploited.
The bill doesn’t just stop at expungement, it also expands access to resources for those who are trying to leave sex work.
A special commission would also be created through this bill which would be co-chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance. The point of the commission would be to create “recommendations to prevent, identify and respond to all forms of prostitution in the Commonwealth”.
Similar legislation recently passed in Maine and goes into effect within the coming weeks.