The State Department's office combating human trafficking issued a directive Friday to US agencies urging them to avoid using terms "sex worker" or "child sex worker" and even advised governments not to use them. ...As Jessica Valenti points out, it's not entirely clear why "women used in prostitution" is less pejorative than "sex worker." On another level, though, the change is telling. To put this in context, Maggie Jones wrote a piece for Mother Jones a few years back about legal groups that were raiding brothels in countries such as Thailand in order to "save" the women working inside, even though many of them appear to have no desire to be rescued. "We need to make money for our families," one sex worker said. "How can you do this to us?"
"However, there are other substitutes such as 'women used in prostitution' or 'sexually exploited children' that are neither pejorative nor pretend that violence to women and children is 'work,'" said [office director John] Miller, who retired Friday after campaigning extensively across the globe to stem the human trafficking problem.