Technologies for Social Justice: Lessons from Sex Workers on the Front Lines

Timeframe: 2019

This paper provides analysis and insight from a collaborative process with a Canadian sex worker rights organization called Stella, l’amie de Maimie, where we reflect on the use of and potential for digital technologies in service delivery. We analyze the Bad Client and Aggressor List – a reporting tool co-produced by sex workers in the community and Stella staff to reduce violence against sex workers. We analyze its current and potential future formats as an artefact for communication, in a context of sex work criminalization and the exclusion of sex workers from traditional routes for reporting violence and accessing governmental systems for justice. This paper addresses a novel aspect of HCI research that relates to digital technologies and social justice. Reflecting on the Bad Client and Aggressor List, we discuss how technologies can interact with justice-oriented service delivery and develop three implications for design.