Resources

The Sex Workers Network (SWN), Bangladesh & Sex Workers and Allies in South Asia (SWASA), Bangladesh Chapter submitted this shadow report to to the 65th CEDAW Session, which took place in November 2016.

The South Asia Sex Workers Network (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) have submitted this joint response to the UN Women Consultation on "sex work, sex trade, and prostitution." They produced a film featuring sex workers voices towards an inclusive policy on sex work, and based their response on their consultation with sex workers. The consultation was attended by participants from four South Asian countries respresenting four national level networks, five state level networks, 55 community-led organisations, and 25 supporting organisations.

The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network for Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (SWAN) have submitted the following response to the UN Women consultation on "sex work, sex trade, and prostitution." They voice concerns regarding the limited possibility for sex workers to take part in an internet-based consultation. Many sex worker groups have limited or no access to internet and are not familiar with the language used in the consultation.

The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) submitted the following letter to UN Women outlining their concerns about the lack of meaningful consultation with sex workers as they develop their policy on sex work. According to APNSW Management Team and Secretariat, UN Women have not held any major consultations with sex workers in the Asia Pacific region. They urge UN Women to organise a meaningful consultation with sex workers to ensure the policy is informed by the experiences of sex workers in the region. In addition to this letter, APNSW submitted a response to the UN Women online consultation on "sex work, sex trade, and prostitution". 

The All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW), CREA, the Centre for Advocacy and Research, India and Lawyers Collective, and 43 sex worker-led organisations have jointly submitted this response to the UN Women consultation on sex work. They conducted three regional consultations with sex worker groups to come to consensus on principles which must be included in any policy on sex work. The participants of the consultations are calling on UN Women to ensure that the development of any policy be made through meaningful and inclusive consultation with sex workers. 

Midnight Blue has published their report Cases of Arrested Transgender Sex Workers which documents the human rights abuses faced by transgender sex workers in detention. Up until June 2016, Midnight Blue has monitoried the cases of 40 transgender sex workers who were arrested in Hong Kong. Many transgender sex workers in Hong Kong are migrant sex workers, and after their detention is complete they are often deported. Midnight Blue is demanding the criminal justice system review the human rights abuses against transgender sex workers in detention in Hong Kong.

Theme: Violence

Asia Catalyst has published their report The Condom Quandary: A Study of the Impact of Law Enforcement Practices on Effective HIV Prevention among Male, Female, and Transgender Sex Workers in China. Asia Catalyst conducted 74 in-depth interviews with male, female, and transgender sex workers, 18 interviews with key informants, and 517 responses to a survey questionnaire. The research was conducted in three major Chinese cities. The report found that using condoms as evidence of sex work violates the human rights of sex workers.

Theme: Health

The Women's Legal Centre has published their report on Police Abuse of Sex Workers in South Africa. The Women's Legal Centre is an organisation working to ensure that women in South Afica can live free from violence in safe housing, are free to own property, are empowered to ensure their own reporductive health rights, and are able to work in a safe and equal environment. Their report shows that 414 sex workers reported various types of violence perpetrated by police between 2011 and 2015.

Theme: Violence

Asia Catalyst has published their report First Do No Harm: Discrimination in Health Care Settings against People Living with HIV in Cambodia, China, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. This research is based on 202 interviews conducted by 8 community organisations including NSWP member Aye Myanmar Association (AMA). It documents the discriminatory practices faced by people living with HIV in health care settings, and also provides examples of what rights-based health care looks like. 

Theme: Health

The following is a letter was written by NSWP member EMPOWER Foundation Thailand to the Prime Minister of Thailand following the human rights abuses faced by sex workers during an anti-trafficking operation that resulted in the raid of Nataree Massage in Bangjoj by the Department of Provincial Administration. A total of 121 sex workers were apprehended in the raid.

Amnesty International has published their research entitled Outlawed and Abused: Criminalizing Sex Work in Papua New Guinea Summary to accompany their Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers. While there are no laws directly criminalising sex work in Papua New Guinea, there are laws surrounding sex work that put sex workers at risk of police violence, violence from the community, and violence from clients.

Amnesty International has published their research entitled Outlawed and Abused: Criminalizing Sex Work in Papua New Guinea to accompany their Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers. While there are no laws directly criminalising sex work in Papua New Guinea, there are laws surrounding sex work that put sex workers at risk of police violence, violence from the community, and violence from clients.

Amnesty International has published their research entitled Harmfully Isolated: Criminalizing Sex Work in Hong Kong to accompany their Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers. Sex work itself is not illegal in Hong Kong, but many activities surrounding sex work are included solicitation, owning or being found in a brothel, and living off the earnings of a sex worker. Amnesty International found that police violate the human rights of sex workers by abusing them, and using their power against them.

Amnesty International has published their research entitled Harmfully Isolated: Criminalizing Sex Work in Hong Kong to accompany their Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers. Sex work itself is not illegal in Hong Kong, but many activities surrounding sex work are included solicitation, owning or being found in a brothel, and living off the earnings of a sex worker. Amnesty International found that police violate the human rights of sex workers by abusing them, and using their power against them.

In Australia, certain sexual acts performed in pornography are deemed offensive and degrading in criminal law. Zahra Stardust demonstrates how performer-producers are resisting government classification and criminal laws by engaging in sex workers' rights activism through creating performer-centered spaces and pioneering best practices labour standards. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.

Theme: Labour

Ishtar Lakhani from SWEAT and Duduzile Dlamini from SISONKE provide an overview of the programming at Mothers for the Future in South Africa. Mothers for the Future is a sex worker-led organisation run by mothers who do sex work. They show how mothers resist oppression and make tangible differences in the lives of mothers. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.

In Kampala, Uganda, there is a large network of sex worker-led organisations that unite under the umbrella organisation Uganda Harmonized Rights Alliance (UHRA). Paula Pönkänen and Hanna Jörneus argue that sex work organising in Uganda is a great example of how sex workers develop and implement their own programming. They provide an overview of sex worker-led programming in Kampala.

This policy brief on the Decriminalisation of Sex Work in Kenya was written in collaborartion with the University of Amsterdam and NSWP member HOYMAS and KESWA. This policy brief argues that sex workers have the same rights as other citizens in Kenya as outlined in the Kenyan Constitution. The brief describes key instances in which the rights of sex workers as defined by the Constitution are violated in Kenya.

The EMPOWER Foundation Thailand report Moving Toward Decent Sex Work and its summary explores the protections offered to Thai sex workers under civil law and the application of other labour mechanisms to sex work. It provides an overview of the Thai sex industry and argues that to develop a reform process, people must hear how exploitation is defined and experienced by Thai sex workers. Decent Sex Work provides recommendations which are appropriate to prevent and address exploitation in sex work.