Briefing Paper: Migration and Sex Work


Despite the global trend of increasing mobility, migrant workers are still stigmatised and silenced – in politics and media alike. Additionally, migrant sex workers are painted as either victims or criminals in discourses that conflate sex work with human trafficking and deny sex workers the right to migrate. Their human rights are often ignored in favour of driving broader political agendas to restrict migration and criminalise sex work. As political unrest, climate change, and the rise of conservative governments leads to increased mobility and labour migration, this paper explores the specific challenges faced by migrant sex workers, including lack of respect for their human rights, legal and policy barriers, and lack of access to services and support.

This Briefing Paper is intended for policy makers, those who design and implement programmes and work directly with sex workers, and as a tool for sex worker-led organisations to utilise in their advocacy for sex workers’ rights. In a globalised economy in which labour migration is essential and yet fraught with increased restrictions and complications, this paper will analyse migrant sex work within a labour framework. This is especially relevant now due to the rise of aggressive anti-migrant policies and discourse, especially in the global north. 

You can download this resource above. This resource is available in Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Arabic. A Community Guide is available here.