EATG Position Paper: The Impact of Punitive Sex Work Laws and Regulations on Human Rights and Public Health

European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG)

On International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2018, the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) published a position paper on the sex work and approaches to delivering rights and health-based policies for sex workers.

Sex workers are one of the five key-populations groups that are particularly vulnerable to HIV and frequently lack adequate access to services. The ongoing and increasing criminalisation of sex work across Europe has negative impacts on sex workers’ health and human rights. The paper states EATG intends to further its engagement with sex workers and optimise its contribution to policy discussions in Europe and beyond.

In particular, EATG calls for the following principles to be adhered by all stakeholders -including itself- to improve the prevention, treatment and care of HIV and other blood-borne infections:

  • Support the decriminalisation of sex work, including sex workers, clients and third parties
  • Support the establishment of anti-discrimination, hate crime and other rights-respecting laws to protect against discrimination and violence, and other rights violations, faced by sex workers.
  • Stand in solidarity with the sex workers and their fight for self-determination, self-organisation and the pursuit of human and labour rights.
  • Advocate for the meaningful involvement of sex workers in developing, implementing and evaluating laws, policies, programmes, services and research that affect them
  • Invite sex workers who reflect the diversity of local sex working communities to collaborate fully in policy, practice and research development, implementation and evaluation
  • Support sex-worker-led organisations and services, by offering relevant resources, advice and expertise where possible.

 You can download the position paper above, or on the EATG website.