Covid-19 and the Commercialized Body: Why the Pandemic Should Motivate A Rethinking of Sex Work Laws

The impact of COVID-19 has amplified inequalities faced by sex workers in the United
States, a country that both exploits and then legislates against these people. The unique
characteristics of the current global health pandemic have intersected to create a truly dangerous
time for the those who rely on sex work as a primary source of income both legally and
economically, and it puts them at a significant health risk.
This research affects decision making by state and local policymakers as it outlines the
ways that the pandemic has made clear existing inequalities that disadvantage those in the sex
trade. This paper goes on to outline policies that could be implemented to create a safer and more
equitable environment for that aforementioned group with suggestions that could reduce high
rates of incarceration, improve health, and help lift those in the sex trade out of the harsh
financial conditions that often trap them in hazardous situations.

By Gabrielle Redding

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