July 19, 2012

Recommendations

New York

To the New York State Legislature

  • Enact legislation to prohibit the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Reform or repeal New York Penal Law Section 240.37, the statute prohibiting loitering for the purposes of prostitution as incompatible with human rights and US constitutional standards.

New York City

To the New York City Council

  • Enact legislation to prohibit the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Enact the Community Safety Act, legislation prohibiting and providing a remedy for profiling that disproportionately impacts individuals and communities based on race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other prohibited grounds.

To the Mayor of New York City

  • Support legislation to prohibit the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Issue an executive order prohibiting the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses by the New York City Police Department.
  • Provide the necessary policy, oversight, and disciplinary action to ensure that the New York City Police Department’s interactions with sex workers, transgender persons, and LGBT youth in New York City comply with human rights and US constitutional standards and are conducted with respect and professionalism.

To the New York City Police Department

  • Immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to arrest, question, or detain persons suspected of sex work, or to support prosecution of prostitution and related offenses. Issue a directive to all officers emphasizing the public health importance of condoms for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health. Ensure that officers are regularly trained on this protocol and held accountable for any transgressions.
  • Support legislation to prohibit the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Adopt policies, guidelines, and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that interactions with sex workers, transgender persons, and LGBT youth comply with human rights and US constitutional standards and are conducted with respect and professionalism.
  • Adopt policies, guidelines, and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that all stops, searches, and frisks of individuals comply with human rights and US constitutional standards.

To the District Attorneys for the City of New York

  • Immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to prosecute prostitution and related offenses.
  • Support legislation to prohibit the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.

To the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

  • Support legislation to prohibit the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Call upon the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to arrest, question, or detain persons suspected of sex work, or to support prosecution of prostitution and related offenses. Conduct trainings and engage in other collaborative efforts with the NYPD emphasizing the public health importance of condoms for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health.

Washington, DC

To the Council of the District of Columbia

  • Enact legislation to prohibit the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Reform or repeal anti-prostitution statutes that are vague, overbroad, and that invite discrimination and arbitrary arrest as incompatible with human rights and US constitutional standards.

To the Mayor of Washington, DC

  • Support legislation to prohibit the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Issue an executive order prohibiting the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses by the Metropolitan Police Department.
  • Support reform or repeal of anti-prostitution statutes that are vague, overbroad and that invite discrimination and arbitrary arrest as incompatible with human rights and US Constitutional standards.
  • Provide the necessary policy, oversight, and disciplinary action to ensure that the Metropolitan Police Department’s interactions with sex workers and transgender persons in Washington, DC comply with human rights and US constitutional standards and are conducted with respect and professionalism.

To the Metropolitan Police Department

  • Immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to arrest, question, or detain persons suspected of sex work, or to support prosecution of prostitution and related offenses. Issue a directive to all officers emphasizing the public health importance of condoms for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health. Ensure that officers are regularly trained on this protocol and held accountable for any transgressions.
  • Adopt policies, guidelines, and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that interactions with sex workers and transgender persons comply with human rights and US constitutional standards and are conducted with respect and professionalism. Ensure compliance with MPD guidelines for interaction with transgender individuals, including those that prohibit profiling transgender persons as sex workers.
  • Adopt policies, guidelines, and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that all stops and searches of individuals comply with human rights and US constitutional standards.

To the Department of Health of the District of Columbia

  • Support legislation prohibiting the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Call upon the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to arrest, question, or detain persons suspected of sex work, or to support prosecution of prostitution and related offenses. Conduct trainings and engage in other collaborative efforts with the MPD emphasizing the public health importance of condoms for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health.

California

To the California State Legislature

  • Enact legislation to prohibit possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Repeal California Penal Code Section 1202.6 mandating HIV testing for all persons convicted of prostitution and California Penal Code Section 647f providing for enhanced penalties for persons convicted of a second prostitution offense while HIV-positive as discriminatory, unnecessary, and incompatible with human rights and US constitutional standards.
  • Reform or repeal California Penal Code Section 653.22, the statute prohibiting loitering with intent to commit prostitution, as incompatible with human rights and US constitutional standards.

To the California Alcoholic Beverage Control Board

  • Immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to arrest, question, or detain persons suspected of sex work, or to support prosecution of prostitution and related offenses. Issue a directive to all officers emphasizing the public health importance of condoms for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health. Ensure that officers are regularly trained on this protocol and held accountable for any transgressions.

Los Angeles

To the Los Angeles City Council

  • Enact legislation to prohibit the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.

To the Mayor of Los Angeles

  • Support legislation prohibiting the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Issue an executive order prohibiting the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses by the Los Angeles Police Department.
  • Provide the necessary policy, oversight, and disciplinary action to ensure that the Los Angeles Police Department’s interactions with sex workers and transgender persons in Los Angeles comply with human rights and US constitutional standards and are conducted with respect and professionalism.

To the Los Angeles Police Department

  • Immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to arrest, question, or detain persons suspected of sex work, or to support prosecution of prostitution and related offenses. Issue a directive to all officers emphasizing the public health importance of condoms for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health. Ensure that officers are regularly trained on this protocol and held accountable for any transgressions.
  • Adopt policies, guidelines, and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that interactions with sex workers and transgender persons comply with human rights and US constitutional standards and are conducted with respect and professionalism. Ensure compliance with LAPD guidelines for interaction with transgender individuals, including those that prohibit profiling transgender persons as sex workers.
  • Adopt policies, guidelines, and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that all stops and searches of individuals comply with human rights and US constitutional standards.

To the City Attorney of Los Angeles

  • Immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to prosecute prostitution and related offenses.
  • Support legislation prohibiting the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Support repeal of California Penal Code Section 1202.6 mandating HIV testing for all persons convicted of prostitution and California Penal Code Section 647f providing for enhances penalties for persons convicted of a second prostitution offense while HIV-positive as discriminatory, unnecessary, and incompatible with human rights and US Constitutional standards.
  • Support reform or repeal of California Penal Code Section 653.22, the statute prohibiting loitering with intent to commit prostitution, as incompatible with human rights and US constitutional standards.

To the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

  • Support legislation prohibiting the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Call upon the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to arrest, question, or detain persons suspected of sex work, or to support prosecution of prostitution and related offenses. Conduct trainings and engage in other collaborative efforts with the LAPD emphasizing the public health importance of condoms for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health.

San Francisco

To the Board of Supervisors of the City of San Francisco

  • Enact legislation to prohibit the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.

To the Mayor of San Francisco

  • Support passage of legislation prohibiting the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Issue an executive order prohibiting the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses by the San Francisco Police Department.

To the San Francisco Police Department

  • Immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to arrest, question, or detain persons suspected of sex work, or to support prosecution of prostitution and related offenses, including photographing condoms for this purpose. Issue a directive to all officers emphasizing the public health importance of condoms for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health. Ensure that officers are regularly trained on this protocol and held accountable for any transgressions.

To the San Francisco District Attorney

  • Immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to prosecute prostitution and related offenses.
  • Support legislation prohibiting the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Support repeal of California Penal Code Section 1202.6 mandating HIV testing for all persons convicted of prostitution and California Penal Code Section 647f providing for enhanced penalties for persons convicted of a second prostitution offense while HIV-positive as discriminatory, unnecessary, and incompatible with human rights and US constitutional standards.
  • Support reform or repeal of California Penal Code Section 653.22, the statute prohibiting loitering with intent to commit prostitution, as incompatible with human rights and US constitutional standards.

To the San Francisco Department of Public Health

  • Support legislation prohibiting the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Call upon the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to immediately cease using the possession of condoms as evidence to arrest, question, or detain persons suspected of sex work, or to support prosecution of prostitution and related offenses. Conduct trainings and engage in other collaborative efforts with the SFPD emphasizing the public health importance of condoms for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health.
  • Ensure that the work of the Environmental Health inspectors is coordinated with that of the HIV/STD Prevention unit on issues of HV prevention and the importance of promoting access to condoms in business establishments in San Francisco, including massage parlors, erotic dance establishments, and other venues.
  • Support the proposal of the HIV Prevention Planning Council for a city-wide ordinance mandating access to condoms and lubricant in all businesses that sell liquor in San Francisco.

To the United States Government

  • The Office of National AIDS Policy and the federal agencies charged with implementing the National AIDS Strategy should:
    • Recognize that human rights abuses are significant barriers to HIV prevention for sex workers, transgender women, LGBT youth, and other vulnerable groups and prioritize structural interventions to address those abuses;
    • Call upon states to prohibit the possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses, and develop a plan to provide guidance, technical assistance, and model legislation to accomplish this objective;
    • Ensure the inclusion of sex workers and transgender women in the efforts of the Working Group on the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence against Women and Girls, and Gender-related Health Disparities;
    • Ensure that HIV research and surveillance data adequately reflects the impact of HIV on sex workers and transgender women.
  • The Department of Justice should investigate the treatment of sex workers and transgender persons by police in New York City, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles and provide ongoing review, enforcement, and oversight to ensure that policies and practices comply with human rights and US constitutional standards.

To the United Nations

To the United Nations Committees on Human Rights, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Racial Discrimination; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health and Questions of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and the United Nations Human Rights Council:

  • Call upon the United States to ensure that police and prosecutors cease using condoms as evidence of prostitution and related offenses.
  • Call upon the United States to reform or repeal overly broad loitering statutes that invite discrimination and punishment based on identity or status rather than criminal behavior.
  • Call upon the United States to protect the human rights of sex workers, transgender persons, and LGBT youth by police, both in and out of police custody.