17 December 2015
|Did you know Pennsylvania now shares in the global celebration of December 10th International Human Rights Day? Not sure what that means?
According to the United Nations: Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone’s rights! Many of us are fearful about the way the world is heading. Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be wide-spread in all parts of the globe. Extremist movements subject people to horrific violence. Messages of intolerance and hatred prey on our fears. Humane values are under attack.
We must reaffirm our common humanity.
Now, let me share a letter I wrote last year on December 17th 2015 asking for assistance in having Pennsylvania acknowledge former sex trafficking victims, sex trade survivors and sex workers in effort to share the vision of both December 10th (International Human Rights Day) and December 17th (International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers):
Dear Pennsylvania Representative Brian Sims:
 marks the 12th year of December 17th: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. I’ve chosen this date to reach out to you in support of HR 605, a bill you are sponsoring acknowledging Pennsylvania’s support of International Human Rights.
Federally defined as a former victim of U.S. domestic minor sex trafficking, I myself have worked on and off in what is broadly defined as the sex industry since 1986; including here in Pennsylvania.
With respect to dramatic change in perspective since 2010 on the ethics and socio-economics of erotic labor and sexual commerce, I urge you to consider the importance of recognizing the needs of those of us who are currently without voice in Philadelphia or Harrisburg.
Relevant to our inclusion as constituents in your sponsoring an International Human Rights Day in Pennsylvania:
I recognize it is hard for politicians and the conservative community to step up to the challenge of addressing the sensitive issues of sex trafficking v. sex work, especially when we – the marginalized and minority view – reach out to you. That said, I hope you are able to recognize how hard it is for me to step up and speak out. The dialog, though, is essential in our combined efforts towards a shared society where each individual’s human rights are sacred, including the human rights of those of us who have lived the sex trade, yet don’t want to permanently live as victims because of other’s forced narrative on our experiences. I am reaching out to you because as they are currently written, Pennsylvania legislative and legal strategies hurt those of us that lived this reality before it was a popular narrative.
For more information I invite you to meet with me to discuss my 2003 BA senior study on commercial sexuality and international human rights, along with hearing more about my history. It is my hope that we may even share a similar view for the future of sex trafficking victims, and consensual adult sex workers, here in Philadelphia.
Truly: M. DANTE in response to the November 18th resolution declaring December 10th International Human Rights Day in Pennsylvania.
Sex trade survivors are often also considered sex workers
and sex worker rights
are human rights.