Human Trafficking Bills No. 150076 & 150075 Have Lapsed

We are pleased to announce that City Council Bills No. 150076 & 150075 have lapsed.

We wrote about these bills in 2015. These failed bills are a part of a growing trend of initiatives that encourage individuals to identify and report people in the sex trade to law enforcement. We remain committed to developing legislation that addresses the direct and systemic violence faced by people in the sex trade and supports their individual and collective empowerment.

We would like to thank those who supported us in this effort including SWOP-USA, RSSC-PHL, Incarnation Institute for Sex and Faith and many more supporters committed to listening to and empowering our community.

A message from International Prostitutes Collective that inspires our work.

We will continue to work state-wide on HB262 and SB851. Please email safephila@gmail.com if you would like to learn more about our advocacy work.


Ep234: Project SAFE : Sex With Timaree @safephila

Our Community Educator, Ilza, and Community Organizer, Lindsay had a great time talking to Timaree Schmit, Ph.D. about the work we do and the rights of women surviving street economies.


Content warning for an emotional conversation that discuss direct and systemic forms of violence and stigma.

Sex With Timaree (The Podcast)

In this episode we are joined by members of Project SAFE. Project SAFE is an all-volunteer organization providing advocacy and support for women working in street economies, including sex workers. This was a very illuminating and emotional conversation.

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Want to know more about us?

Please join us for an Information + Training Session
Saturday, February 6
1-4 pm
@ GALAEI: 149 W. Susquehanna Ave, Philadelphia PA 19122

Project SAFE is an all-volunteer grassroots organization providing advocacy and support for women working in street economies. SAFE’s mission is to promote human rights-based public health among women working in the sex and drug trades on the streets of Philadelphia.

This event is open to all genders, all education levels, all professions – pretty much anyone who wants to learn more about harm reduction, sex worker rights, and the mission and practice of Project SAFE.

Please RSVP here. Can’t make it – sign up for future trainings here.

Questions? Send them to safephila@gmail.com or call 1-866-509-7233 x 4.

We hope to see you there!


Learn about PA HB262

We are grateful for Rep. Baker’s efforts to eliminate sex trafficking and commercial exploitation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with House Bill 262. At this time, HB 262 contains stipulations that cause undue harm to those employed at adult entertainment establishments and lack evidence-based approaches to ending trafficking and exploitation. 

Efforts to fight human trafficking in the sex industry should include sex workers as key stakeholders.

We can not solve the problem of human trafficking without investing in developing safe, equitable work options for women and girls.

Please find recent media coverage on HB262 below:








Research on human trafficking and exploitation in the sex industry:

Agustín, L. M. (2007). Sex at the margins: Migration, labour markets and the rescue industry. Zed Books.

Ahmed, Aziza. “Trafficked? AIDS, Criminal Law and the Politics of Measurement.” University of Miami Law Review 70, no. 1 (2015): 96-251.

Curtis, R., Terry, K., Dank, M., Dombrowski, K., Khan, B., Muslim, A., … & Rempel, M. (2008). The commercial sexual exploitation of children in New York City. New York: Center for Court Innovation.

Dank, M. et al. (2015). Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex.

Gragg, F., Petta, I., Bernstein, H., Eisen, K., & Quinn, L. (2007). New York prevalence study of commercially sexually exploited children. New York: New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Hyland, K. E. (2001). The impact of the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children. Human Rights Brief, 8(2), 12.

Jana, Smarajit, Bharati Dey, Sushena Reza-Paul, and Richard Steen. “Combating human trafficking in the sex trade: can sex workers do it better?.”Journal of Public Health 36, no. 4 (2014): 622-628.

Koyama, E. (2011). War on Terror & War on Trafficking: A Sex Worker Activist Confronts the Anti-Trafficking Movement. Conference Publications.

Stoltz, J. A. M., Shannon, K., Kerr, T., Zhang, R., Montaner, J. S., & Wood, E. (2007). Associations between childhood maltreatment and sex work in a cohort of drug-using youth. Social science & medicine, 65(6), 1214-1221.

Young Women’s Empowerment Project (2011). Girls Do What They Have To Do To Survive: Illuminating Methods used by Girls in the Sex Trade and Street Economy to Fight Back and Heal. Retrieved from http://ywepchicago.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/girls-do-what-they-have-to-do-to-survive-a-study-of-resilience-and-resistance.pdf

Young Women’s Empowerment Project (2012). Denied Help! How Youth in the Sex Trade &  Street Economy are Turned Away from Systems Meant to Help Us & What We are Doing to Fight Back. Retrieved from https://ywepchicago.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/bad-encounter-line-report-20121.pdf


Philly’s Invisible Youth + Resources for Homeless Youth

Laura Rena Murray (who helped found Project SAFE!) is a journalist, as well as a former homeless young person in Philadelphia. She left home to escape violence, and unable to access shelter services and fearful of police and DHS, she walked the streets, slept in parks, stayed with teachers and friends – she did what ever she could to survive.

Laura eventually graduated from University of Pennsylvania and now works as an award-winning journalist. She recently traveled back to Philly to see what life is like for homeless youth – and it many ways it has only gotten worse. You can read Laura’s report in Al Jazeera here.

If you or someone you know is struggling to find safe housing, please find this resource developed by Laura and stakeholders working hard all over the city.


December 17: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

December 17, 2015

LOVE Park (1599 JFK Blvd.)


A rally & vigil for Sex Workers who have been victims of violence and harassment, to acknowledge that sex work is work, and that Sex Workers are being intensively exploited and murdered by capitalism & patriarchy.

All are invited to speak out, the brave may share their stories, and we will both condemn & strategize against the causes of this exploitation and oppression.

Email rsccphl@gmail.com if your organization would like to endorse this rally.

Learn more at www.december17.org 


The Real Impact of the Swedish Model / “End Demand” on Sex Workers

We receive a number of questions about the Swedish Model, Partial Decriminalization, End Demand Initiatives. In these approaches, criminal penalties are not leveraged against sex workers, but those who purchase sexual services and third-parties, such as market facilitators. While a welcome concept in practice, such an approach hold many risks for the sellers of sex, and continues to marginalize and oppresse sex workers, survival sex workers and survivors of sex trafficking in many ways. We hope you will consider reading this report from the Global Network of Sex Work Projects:

This is a 13-page summary of the Advocacy Toolkit: The Real Impact of the Swedish Model on Sex Workers. It is a collection of fact sheets and advocacy tools on the harmful Swedish model. It can be used to challenge the widespread promotion of this detrimental legal and political approach to the regulation of sex work.

Contents include:

  • Sweden’s Abolitionist Understanding, and  Modes of Silencing Opposition
  • Impacts of the Sex Purchase Law: Street- Based Sex Work and Levels of Sex Work
  • Impacts of the Swedish Model’s Justifying Discourses on Service Provision
  • Impacts of Other Legislation and Policy – The Danger of Seeing  the Swedish Model in a Vacuum
  • Right to Work and Other Work-Related  Human Rights
  • Sex work and the Right to Health
  • Sex Work and  Arbitrary Interference with Families
  • Sex Work and  Violence: Obligations of the State

You can download this 13-page PDF above.