Briefing Paper: The Meaningful Involvement of Sex Workers in the Development of Health Services Aimed At Them


This Briefing Paper discusses the extent to which sex workers are currently meaningfully involved in the development of healthcare services that are aimed at them. The paper looks at this on a global scale and in five regions: Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America and the Caribbean. Case studies were developed based on in-depth research conducted in ten countries: Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, and the U.S.A.

NSWP’s Consensus Statement on Sex Work, Human Rights, and the Law affirms that “sex workers have the right to non-discriminatory, affordable, and culturally-specific access to universal, quality health services.” When sex workers are involved at all stages of health service provision, health services are more comprehensive and better informed by sex workers’ needs. This briefing paper examines the background to meaningful involvement in healthcare provision and how this has interacted with sex workers’ right to health. It also provides key recommendations for future policy and practice.

A Community Guide is also available here.

Contents include:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • healthcare: service providers and service users
  • meaningful participation and meaningful involvement
  • sex workers’ right to health
  • Aims and objectives
  • Methods, Design and Demographics
  • Analysis
  • Recommendations
    • For Governments, Policy Makers, and Health Service Programmers
    • For sex workers’ rights organisations
  • Conclusion

You can download this 16 page PDF here. This resource is available in English, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.