anti loitering sign on fence

Miyashita Ochoa on Decriminalization of Sex Work

Ayako Miyashita Ochoa, adjunct assistant professor of social welfare, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the repeal of a provision of California law that had banned loitering with the intent to sell sex. In signing State Bill 357, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the measure aims to end the disproportionate harassment of women and transgender adults but does not legalize prostitution. The legislation sparked a debate touching on transgender rights, human trafficking and the decriminalization of sex work. Miyashita Ochoa said criminalization pushes sex workers into “isolated and unsafe spaces,” leads to increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases and creates distrust in law enforcement. “What we’re talking about here is moral legislation. And what we should be talking about is labor protections,” Miyashita Ochoa said. “And if we can’t give women and other folks engaged in sex trades that dignity as a worker, then we are just as bad as the people that are taking advantage.”


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