This paper is the third in a series of resources developed by the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance (ESWA) as part of our Digital Rights programme that explores the intersecting issues of sex work and digital rights.
The widespread availability of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has transformed sex work in many ways. Today, sex workers in Europe (similar to many other parts of the world) have different tools to choose from when communicating with clients and advertising their services which result in different ways of working, each carrying benefits and potential threats to workers’ health and safety.
This paper aims to examine the process and impact of platformisation of work on the working conditions of sex workers while pinpointing the close-knit relationship between the sex workers’ rights movement and the gig economy. We argue that digital platform infrastructures have an enormous impact on how sex work is organised in the digital age as well as on the health and safety of workers. Therefore, adult sexual service platforms should be responsible for adopting policies that aim to improve the working conditions of sex workers, who are the main source of any platform’s value and profit. We will also mention the most recent efforts by the European Union to regulate platform work in order to protect the rights of people who are involved in it and how the lack of recognition of sex work as a form of work excludes them from the proper labour protections that they need urgently.