So What IS International Day of No Prostitution?
Beginning in 2002, October 5th has officially been celebrated as International Day of No Prostitution, or IDNP for short. It was created to raise awareness for sex workers and the dangers of the occupation.
For its inaugural year in 2002, IDNP was first celebrated in the Bay Area of San Fran, California, as well as in Melbourne, Australia.
Three years later, an IDNP event was organized by the Asian-Pacific chapter of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women and the University of the Philippines to discuss and shed light on the Anti-Trafficking Persons Act of 2003.
People wanted to shed light on the fact that the ones who greatly benefit from prostitution are not the prostitutes themselves, but the johns (the ones soliciting prostitutes) and pimps.
In India, there are an estimated two million sex workers… even though prostitution is illegal. According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, it is estimated that 1.2 million children are also involved in prostitution there.
Prostitution is illegal in most African countries, although it is legal and regulated in a few (>5) countries. However, it does still occur, and the infection rates of HIV/AIDS are high among sex workers.
Fun fact about America: the legality of prostitution is not determined by the federal government. It’s left up to the state and federal district’s jurisdiction.
In Japan, prostitution is legal - but only if it is NOT heterosexual vaginal intercourse. Yes… you read that right.
Thailand is unfortunately touted as a location for “sex tourism”, although on the books, prostitution is not legal there.
Child prostitution makes up 30-35% of all prostitutes in a particular region in Southeast Asia.
The European Union prohibits pimping and brothels, but will allow prostitution itself.
How to Celebrate IDNP
Main thing: DO NOT SUPPORT OR ENGAGE IN SOLICITING PROSTITUTION.
While not a widely celebrated or recognized holiday, there are many ways you can show some love and respect to sex workers, or fight against sex trafficking.
Honor Sex Workers Who Have Lost Their Lives
There has been an often-said phrase to many sex workers - “no one will look for a dead whore.” Women who are prostituted can go missing, be abused, and not have the law on their side when they do try to report assaults. There has been a long-standing genocide of prostituted women, and it often goes unnoticed and ignored. Rebecca Mott Mott, a woman who has exited the sex trade, has a blog dedicated to those who have lost their lives.
Fight Against Sex Slavery
There are countless organizations that have been actively fighting to rescue women and children from the clutches or sex trafficking. Whether you are passionate about helping women or children, there is an organization that you can donate to or otherwise support in your own way.
Love146 was created in honor of a young girl who was seen in a brothel on an undercover trip to fight sex trafficking. They saw the young girl there, with the number 146 pinned to her red dress, who was staring intently at all of the men waiting to make their “purchase”. She still had fight left in her eyes, unlike the other girls in the brothel. However, when they finally gathered enough evidence and the raid was done on the brothel, #146 was no longer there. The founders of Love146 kept her number for their organization to honor her as they continue to fight against sex trafficking.
If you wanna keep it local, there are some hidden organizations often around larger cities. In college, I worked with Crisis Line & Safe House in Macon, GA, which provided refuge for women who were victims of trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Atlanta is one of the largest hubs for sex trafficking, and the highway from Atlanta to Macon had many truck stops and massage parlors that were secretly holding women against their will for sex work. Definitely check in your local area for organizations that fight sex trafficking and prostitution.
Buy From Women Who Have Escaped Sex Work
Purpose Jewelry employs women who have survived sex traffciking, teaches them to make jewelry, and pays them fairly. Purpose gives these women careers and a chance to start a whole new life, which is dope.
There are many similar organizations that either hire survivors, teach them a trade, and give them careers, or that donate a high percentage of their proceeds to anti-sex trafficking organizations. You can find a pretty good list here.