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The Totem of Rights 
CS Submission No. 2 

Submitter: Recommendation 

Date: April 24, 2022

CS-2: The Legalization of Sex Work / Prostitution

With the Vesey Republic's establishment, removing oppressive laws that limit and discourage women, men, LGBTQ, and non-binary individuals from seeking employment opportunities and life choices, will constitute a significant first step to reconceptualize social stigmas and practices associated with prostitution or sex-work. 

Protecting the public health and safety of its citizens and individuals employed as sex workers is the Vesey Republic’s paramount concern.

Understanding that prostitution is a practice that has flourished to a greater or lesser degree in all environments throughout the ages, it is judged that best way to safeguard the health and welfare of the general public and sex workers is to legalize prostitution and regulate the component structures that traditionally support the 'sex industry.' 

Ensuring clean working conditions in venues for sex-workers and patrons, combatting violent abuses, and affording public protections are critical to regulating and creating a safe and healthy sex industry is the remit of this act.

For the purposes of adopting the Proposed CS-2 Act, the sex-work industry is broadly defined as including the categories of private clubs and escort agencies. While 'sex-work' is typically referred to as prostitution, it may also include, adult video performers, phone sex operators, webcam models, dancers in strip clubs.

To that end CS-2 proposes the following measures. 

- All businesses seeking to operate an establishment in the sex-work industry will be required to apply for licensure.

- To receive a license, establishments must submit a business plan that details measures for providing safe, hygienic working conditions for their sex workers and ensure that they are healthy and independent. 

- Additional licensing requirements may include proper business administration, rental conditions, intake, and supervision. 

- Sex workers must register with public authorities and test regularly for infections.  

- Illegal prostitution would constitute all forms of prostitution requiring licensure but operating without a license. This can include prostitution that takes place in private residences (if multiple sex workers are employed in the same house) or in massage parlors, and certain types of illegal escort services.

Backgrounder & Commentary:

The Proposed CS-2: 'The Legalization of Sex Work / Prostitution' is one position regarding the legal status of sex-work in a new Black nation-state. Different proposals and amendments to CS-2 are most welcomed. 

As a friendly reminder to all submitters, we are always thinking it terms of draft proposals that are mindful of the assumption that a new government, constitution, and laws are being enacted: We are not trying to reform today's existing system.   

As was outlined in CS-2, it is assumed that sex work cannot simply be abolished by a legal act as a practical matter.  

At this time, it appears there are three basic approaches to the legal question of sex-work: 1) Abolishing prostitution completely, as exemplified in Sweden, which criminalizes the purchase—though not the sale—of sex. 2) Legalize and regulate sex work, and 3) Decriminalize sex-work and leave it largely unregulated.  

It is acknowledged here that there are serious debates to be had on a legal/programmatic approach to sex-work. These debates are not substitutes for the moral and ideological dimensions of the equation. That arena of struggle is the civic role and responsibility of the Vesey Republic's dynamic Commons, and their elective assembly. 

We would also remind our readers that resolution of this issue should not be viewed as an either-or proposition. 

So, for example, where Black feminists and womanists may be divided on this issue, the Vesey Republic's Commons would likely take an intense interest in what law the proposed Women-Led Autonomous Province adopts on sex-work. The law adopted by the WLAP would be legally binding in the WLAP, irrespective of the actions taken by the national Vesey Republic legislative body.   

In this instance, we could conceivably have two different legislative acts implemented.       

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