Briefing Note: Sex Work is not Sexual Exploitation


This Briefing Note outlines the problems with the conflation of the term 'sexual exploitation' with sex work, and how this exacerbates harms to sex workers. 

'Exploitation' and 'sexual exploitation' have no agreed definition in international law, which has led to misinterpretation of the term (wilful or otherwise), and harmful laws, policies and practices that impact negatively on sex workers’ human rights. Some groups support an ideological framework that views all sex work as violence and exploitation. Conflation of sex work and 'sexual exploitation' in this way has led to extremely harmful legislation that limits sex workers’ access to justice and services, and prevents them from organising for better work conditions or asserting their human and labour rights.

You can download the 5-page Briefing Note above. It is available in Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.