Case studies: How sex work laws are implemented on the ground and their impact on sex workers


Legislation around sex work can be extremely complex; different legal models exist in different countries and sometimes even within countries. NSWP published a mapping of national legislation used to regulate and criminalise sex work in 208 countries and dependencies, with sub-national legislation included for some countries. The map brings together information on laws which affect sex workers including: the criminalisation of the sale and purchase of sexual services; the criminalisation of the facilitation, management or organisation of sex work; and other laws used to regulate sex work such as mandatory health checks and travel restrictions. 

To understand the full impact of these laws on sex workers' lives, we must understand how the laws are interpreted, enforced and implemented on the ground. NSWP has published seven national case studies to collate information on how sex work laws are interpreted and implemented by the police and other government authorities across diverse legal frameworks. These case studies examine the impacts in ​Aotearoa New ZealandFrance, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico and Senegal. Their purpose is to help us understand how the implementation of different sex work legal frameworks affects sex workers. This global briefing paper presents a summary of the findings of these seven case studies. 

You can download this 11-page Briefing Paper above. It is available in English, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.