Sex workers have always lived on the edge of society, or as Andy, a young Mexican-American sex worker puts it, below the “surface.” Some sex workers are coerced or trafficked into the trade, yet there are others that choose to enter the industry willfully, or because of their economic circumstance. Many of these sex workers are speaking out about police abuse and the issues that affect their communities.
Maria Hinojosa investigates the movement for sex workers’ rights and speaks to Kate D’Adamo, a community organizer for the Sex Workers Outreach Project; Andy, a pseudonym for a young sex worker and activist; and Carolina Martin Ramos, the owner and managing attorney for Justicia Digna and an advocate for sex worker’s rights.
Carolina Martin Ramos is the owner and managing attorney at Justicia Digna. She currently serves on the Boards of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, the New Mexico Indian Law Section, and the Immigration Section of the New Mexico State Bar Association. Previously, she served as Immigration Counsel for the State of New Mexico Public Defender Department. She is recognized for her special knowledge and experience dealing with the immigration consequences of guilty pleas and criminal convictions. Carolina also practiced criminal defense as an Assistant Public Defender in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is co-author of an article published by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Research Institute (UNICRI) and has authored articles for the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NMCDLA). Carolina lives on a small ranchito in the Land of Enchantment with her family.
Kate D’Adamo is a Community Organizer with the Sex Workers Outreach Project – NYC and Sex Workers Action New York (SWOP-NYC & SWANK). In this role, Kate develops programming to promote community building, provide peer support and advance political advocacy to support the rights of people engaged in the sex trade both on and off the job. Prior to this, Kate has worked on these issues at the International Commission for Labor Rights, Global Workers Justice Alliance and the Open Society Foundation and on campaigns including Human Rights for All, which sought to integrate sex worker rights into the UN’s Universal Periodic Review. She has a Masters in International Affairs from The New School University.