Policy Brief: The Decriminalisation of Third Parties


This global policy brief summarises the research on the decriminalisation of third parties. It sets out in detail why NSWP and its members call for the decriminalisation of third parties.  It explores some of the key harms that are caused to sex workers as a result of the criminalisation of third parties. The paper concludes by reviewing available evidence, showing that the decriminalisation of third parties protects sex workers rights, enabling them to challenge abusive and exploitative working conditions and exert greater control over their working environment. A community guide is available here.

Contents include:

  • Introduction
  • Who are third parties?
  • Criminalisation of third parties obstructs HIV prevention
  • Criminalisation of third parties forces sex workers to compromise their safety
  • Sex workers are prosecuted under third party laws
  • Family and friends of sex workers can be prosecuted under third party laws
  • Third party laws can be used by the police to limit sex workers’ ability to access services such as housing
  • Third party relationships under decriminalisation
  • Conclusions and recommendations

This resource is useful for policy makers and legislators interested in knowing more about the impacts of the criminalisation of third parties on sex workers. It is also useful for sex workers and sex workers’ rights activists in their advocacy work against the criminalisation of third parties.

You can download this 12 page PDF above. This resource is available in English, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.