Resources

This paper by PICUM discusses the impact of criminalisation on the human rights and dignity of undocumented migrant sex workers in Europe. It outlines the main legal frameworks affecting sex workers, and highlights how these intersect with other frameworks criminalising migrants in Europe.

This resource was developed by PROUD, the Dutch union for and by sex workers, and Aidsfonds - Soa Aids Nederland, to explore the extent to which sex workers in the Netherlands experience stigma and violence. A total of 308 sex workers participated through questionnaires, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions from across the country, engaged in various types of sex work.

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

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

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.

Amnesty International has published their research The Human Cost of 'Crushing the Market: Criminalization of Sex Work in Norway Executive Summary to accompany their Policy on State Obligatoins to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers. Their research demonstrates that human rights abuses against sex workers in Norway are directly related to the criminalisation of clients and third parties in Norway.

Amnesty International has published their research The Human Cost of 'Crushing the Market: Criminalization of Sex Work in Norway to accompany their Policy on State Obligatoins to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers. Their research demonstrates that human rights abuses against sex workers in Norway are directly related to the criminalisation of clients and third parties in Norway. Amnesty International also found tha sex workers themselves were penalised and criminalised under the "Nordic Model". The resaerch is the result of three weeks of interviews with 54 sex workers in Norway as well as desk research. 

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

In New Zealand, the Prostitution Reform Act was passed in 2003. Its purpose is to decriminalise prostitution. Following the Act, the Department of Labour, in cooperation with the New Zealand Prostitues Collective (NZPC), developed the Occupational Health & Safety guidelines for the sex industry. This article looks at the development and effects of the New Zealand approach. It was written by members of the NZPC and was published as part of Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work.

This research investigates sex workers’ opinions on support services in Berlin, Germany. In Berlin, support services for sex workers range from financial, health and legal support to psychosocial counselling and support with issues of migration, etc. Most are carried out by social workers at NGOs targeted at sex workers. While some of these NGOs advocate for sex worker rights, many aim to ‘rescue’ sex workers and to abolish sex work. The researcher concludes there is a discrepancy between support services demand and supply. This article was published in Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work.

This articles outlines the benefits and shortcomings of German sex work laws. It also describes the danges of  forthcoming revisions to Germany's policies. This article was written by Hydra e.V. and pubished as part of Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work.

This Policy Brief is a short summary of evidence for action drawn from: The Right(s) Evidence: Sex Work, Violence and HIV in Asia - A Multi-Country Study and recent key studies and guidance including The Lancet Special Series on Sex work and HIV and the WHO Consolidated Guidance for K

Theme: Health

This publication documents the lessons learned from the process of implementing a four-country research project on sex work and violence through the narratives and reflections of those who participated in the research since its inception in 2011. The publication was commissioned by the Centre for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalization (CASAM) in consultation with APNSW, UNDP, UNFPA and P4P (Asia-Pacific regional offices in Bangkok). Funding for the travel to conduct interviews towards this documentation was provided by UNDP.

Download this resource: The Right(s) Process

The regional report of this multi-country study contains findings and recommendations to address violence experienced by sex workers in Asia.  Sex workers experience extreme physical, sexual, emotional and economic violence at work, in health care and custodial settings, in their neighbourhoods and in their homes. This violence denies sex workers their fundamental human rights — to equal protection under the law; protection against torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; and their right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

In 1999, the Swedish government embarked on an experiment in social engineering1 to end men’s practice of purchasing commercial sexual services. The government enacted a new law criminalizing the purchase (but not the sale) of sex (Swedish Penal Code). It hoped that the fear of arrest and increased public stigma would convince men to change their sexual behaviour. The government also hoped that the law would force the estimated 1,850 to 3,000 women who sold sex in Sweden at that time to find another line of work.

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