Smart Sex Worker’s Guide to Digital Security


The digital transformation of society is an ongoing phenomenon, accelerated by the growing use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the last decade. Sex workers are often among the first adopters of digital technologies to improve their safety while conducting their work in increasingly criminalised and stigmatised contexts and to protect their privacy.  Using these technologies can have many benefits for sex workers, such as finding a place to advertise their services, communicating with their colleagues, screening clients, accessing key information and services, and organising politically. However, the increased digitalisation of everyday life also poses new threats and challenges for sex workers that need to be addressed.

This Smart Guide identifies some of the current trends in the use of ICT, exploring good and bad practices, and examines the threats and challenges to sex workers’ safety, privacy, and well-being. It highlights the need for ICT developments that meet the highest security standards, are community-led and owned, that protect the health and other human rights of sex workers, and that do not replace essential face-to-face services for sex workers or undermine community empowerment at grassroots level. The Smart Guide draws on the expertise of sex workers and key informants and concludes with recommendations for different stakeholders.

You can download this Smart Guide above. It is available in English, Russian, Chinese, French, and Spanish. A Community Guide is also available.