How Brazil's Sex Workers Have Been Organized and Politically Effective for 30 Years

De Lisio, Amanda
Date Written:  2017-12-19
Publisher:  Upside Down World
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23352

Sex workers in Brazil have been organizing for 30 years and have influenced politics to the extent that the government recognizes sex-work as an official occupation. They are celebrating the anniversary in part with an exhibit of photographs taken by sex-workers.



In Brazil, sex work remains politically and socially contentious. But thanks to a staunch sex worker movement in the country, the people who actually do the work have made themselves key contributors to the debate. It is a movement which has informed political policy, affected legislation in urban reform and sexual healthcare and fought tirelessly for the full recognition of sex work as a profession.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of that movement. As part of the celebrations, an international exhibition is being held which features photographs taken by sex workers. Entitled "O Que Você Não Vê" (What You Don’t See), it centers on sexual commerce during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. But it also provides an opportunity to reflect on the lessons that can be learned from three decades of an organization representing the best interests of sex workers.

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