Resources

Empower Foundation has released a new resource library on their website, comprising books, reports, letters and films on a variety of topics linked to sex workers' rights in Thailand. You can access the full set of resources here (most available in English and Thai). 

This resource is a note by NSWP members Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP) and SANGRAM. It summarizes the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women in India with regards to her observations made in relation to sex worker rights in India. It highlights that the Special Rapporteur called on the Indian Government to review the problematic ITPA (Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act) legislation which criminalizes women in sex work and to take measures to protect the human rights of sex workers.

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The Chinese government is arbitrarily detaining sex workers through a flawed government policy purportedly aimed at education and rehabilitation, Asia Catalyst said in a new report released in December 2013.

The report documents excessive use of force by police in the detention of female sex workers, as well as the women's subsequent incarceration in the little-known "Custody and Education (C&E)" system.

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This workshop, from sex worker-led organisation Respect Inc, in Queensland, Australia, is a very thorough introduction to a wide range of issues relevant to sex workers - particularly those working in Queensland, Australia, due to this resources' discussion of the legal situation there, but also for sex workers more generally in terms of issues like safer sex, negotiating boundaries, emotional well-being, and safety tips.

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APNSW's response to Equality now covers APNSW's support for the UN reports the recommend decriminalisation, and notes that Equality Now did not submit a response to the UN consultation.

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The National Network of Sex Workers India responds to a new campaign to further criminalise sex workers. In their statement, they criticise the conflation of sex work with trafficking, and reiterate the NNSW-India's support of the UN's commitment to sex workers' rights.

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The National Network of Sex Workers in India have appealed to the President of India to reject the 'Ordinance on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012' which was cleared by the cabinet on 1st February. 

A proposed section in this bill conflates trafficking with sex work and essentially defines all 'prostitution' as exploitation, further eroding the dignity of voluntary and consenting sex workers, against the internationally recognised interpretation of the UN Protocol, 2000.  If accepted this bill will criminalise sex workers.

You can read the 2 page (PDF) press release (in English) as published on SANGRAM's website above.

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The Law and Sexworker Health (LASH) team at the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales were funded by the NSW Ministry of Health to better inform policy considerations, and the National Health and Medical Research Council to investigate if the various approaches across Australian jurisdictions were associated with different health and welfare outcomes for sex workers.

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The 'Hit & Run' report is the result of 12 months of research by Empower's RATSW project, investigates human rights violations against sex workers carried out in the name of 'rescues' under the anti-trafficking laws.

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Source: AsiaCatalyst.org
 
The 2010 "Strike Hard Campaign" (police crackdowns) put in place a zero tolerance policy on sex work, gambling and drugs all across China. While many brothels and popular clubs were closed ultimately sex workers continued work out in more remote areas. This geographic shift cut people off from essential health services, HIV/AIDS education, and even funeral services for women who die while cut off from their families.

Here in its first major report The China Sex Worker Organization Network Forum trained its members to document the effects of the crackdown.
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You can download this 12 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

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This summary, written under the aegis of the Center for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalisation (CASAM), presents the preliminary results of the first pan-India survey on sex workers. These preliminary findings have been developed for an event in Mumbai on 30 April 2011. The authors appreciate the opportunity to discuss their research with an audience of critical stakeholders. A report which provides their final analysis and data relating to male, trans sex workers, sexuality, stigma and discrimination as well as the 0.5% of 15-17 year olds in this sample will be published later in the year. For the final report please contact info@sangram.org.

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Empower Foundation is a Thai organisation since 1985. Empower promotes opportunities for women workers in the entertainment industry. Empower strives to promote these opportunities and rights to all women workers regardless of their country of origin.

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Bar girls are being evicted by Shiv Sena with the support of the State

Date: June 07, 2007

Varsha Kale (President - WPI) writes:

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Meena Seshu speaks out against India's Immoral Trafficking Prevention Amendment

Across histories and cultures, people in prostitution and sex work have historically been cast as social deviants. With the arrival of HIV and AIDS, they have been further stigmatized, as carriers and transmitters of the disease, and have been excluded from policy decisions that threaten their health and well-being.

Next month, the Parliament of India will vote on an amendment to India's 2006 Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Amendment Bill that will further stigmatize and violate the human rights of sex workers by criminalizing the purchase of sexual services in India.

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National Day of Action against India's Immoral Trafficking Prevention Amendment

Bangalore

July 1, 2008

The Karnataka State Coalition Against ITPA (Constituent Organizations: Aneka, Ashodaya Samithi, Jyothi Mahila Sangha, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Karnataka Sexworkers Union, LesBiT, Samara, Sangama, Sangram, Suraksha, Swathi Mahila Sangha, Veshya Anyay Mukthi Parishad, Vijaya Mahila Sangha) urges the government of India to:

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The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers wrote this letter against the funding of International Justice Mission (IJM) for a pilot project to 'rescue' sex workers in Asia. The project coordinates with local police during brothel raids where sex workers are forcibly removed and detained illegally. The Global Network of Sex Work Projects condemns these violations of sex workers' rights, and has demanded that the Gates Foundation immediately cease funding these human rights abuses by the International Justice Mission.

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Sex Workers' Rights Statement from the International Seminar of Sex Workers in Asia and Pacific — Bangkok, Thailand, November 15-19, 2000

Dear friends:

The International Seminar of Sex Workers in Asia and Pacific which was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 15-19 November, 2000 has ended with a great success and full support from our friends all over the world.

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Action against police violation of human rights in Hong Kong

Zi Teng

On Wednesday the 15 of June the Hong Kong public saw flashed across the Chinese language press, and on the 16 of June the SCMP, photos of a group of " 40 mainland women suspected of prostitution" rounded up , interned in a crowded (14 square metre) "cage", in much the same way as animals would be. This was in public view and for a period of 13 hours as reported in the article. The photos in both presses depict the women lying on the bare ground, without visible toilet facilities, privacy or food while male polices officers stand by. The image is poignant being one of powerlessness, vulnerability and visible shame, and voyeurism.

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Abuses against sex workers and erosions of HIV prevention efforts resulting from anti-trafficking initiatives

The following is direct testimony from a Pondicherry-based NGO, Society for Development, Research & Training (SFDRT) describing exactly how anti-trafficking programmes are rolling out IN PRACTICE. Whatever the theory of anti-trafficking, UNAIDS, ILO, UNDP, USAID and others must see that in practice anti-trafficking initiatives are a direct threat to sexual health programmes and to the human rights of sex workers and migrants. – November, 2002.

It is indeed an additional burden to work with HIV/AIDS preventive programme with that of trafficking issues but at the same time it is quite evident that those of whom are working on STD/HIV/AIDS are the best to work on anti-trafficking issues too. With an example sited below where in the staff of SFDRT with four other NGOs were invited by the top officials of the police dept. in Pondicherry for a topic on anti-trafficking and NGOs support.

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