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Sat Dec 21, 2019, 04:00 AM

Boston officials, sex-trafficking survivor support groups express concerns over Rep. Ayanna Pressley

Boston officials, sex-trafficking survivor support groups express concerns over Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s plan decriminalizing prostitution

By Jackson Cote


Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and local organizations that work with survivors of sex trafficking expressed concerns this week over a proposal by U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley to decriminalize sex work.

The Massachusetts congresswoman’s provision was put forth in November as part of a wider criminal justice reform bill. A section of it calls for reducing jail and prison populations by decriminalizing “consensual sex work and low-level offenses, which are byproducts of poverty, homelessness, discrimination and/or addiction,” according to the House resolution.

Walsh told reporters on Tuesday after a hearing at the State House about affordable housing that he is worried how such a provision would impact Boston and sex-trafficking victims. The mayor said he would like to have a conversation with Pressley before any legislation is filed.

“My concern is I want to make sure that we protect the victims here, and the victims here are the people being sold, in slavery basically, sex slavery,” Walsh said, according to a recording of his statements provided by the mayor’s office. “The decriminalization of prostitution across the board, I have concerns about that.”

Read more: https://www.masslive.com/boston/2019/12/boston-officials-sex-trafficking-survivor-support-groups-express-concerns-over-rep-ayanna-pressleys-plan-decriminalizing-prostitution.html

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