Backpage was a website largely used by human traffickers to sell sexual services on a Craigslist-like site. Following its shut-down last week, the official Twitter page for the Women’s March tweeted that their shut-down is an “absolute crisis.”
. The shutting down of #Backpage is an absolute crisis for sex workers who rely on the site to safely get in touch with clients. Sex workers rights are women’s rights. Follow @SafeSpacesDC @melissagira @swopusa @KateDAdamo @supporthosechi @anaorsomething for more info. https://t.co/S3Orx3aM8Z
— Women's March (@womensmarch) April 7, 2018
The Women’s March was held on the day of President Trump’s inauguration, and is widely recognized as one of the largest marches on the nation’s Capitol in U.S. history. While the march was largely represented as a feminist march for women’s rights, it was easily seen-through as nothing more than an anti-Trump protest.
The group has always been pro-sex worker, but has not publicly listed on their website. On their issues page, they list a number of issues, including reproductive rights, and LGBTQIA rights. While they don’t list sex worker’s rights on their website, they do have a PDF with a full list, which has a section that reads:
We believe that all workers – including domestic and farm workers – must have the right to
organize and fight for a living minimum wage, and that unions and other labor associations are critical to a healthy and thriving economy for all. Undocumented and migrant workers must be included in our labor protections, and we stand in full solidarity with the sex workers’ rights movement. We recognize that exploitation for sex and labor in all forms is a violation of human rights.
Their support for backpage is astonishing as a movement that claims to support women. Recent reports show that around 71% of human trafficking victims are women. Websites like Backpage directly support human trafficking by creating a market for sex work, which is fulfilled by worldwide networks of human traffickers.