Resources

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

This 73-page report documents government abuses against transgender people in Malaysia. In research in four Malaysian states and the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur, Human Rights Watch found that state Religious Department officials and police regularly arrest transgender women and subject them to various abuses, including assault, extortion, and violations of their privacy rights. Religious Department officials have physically and sexually assaulted transgender women during arrest or in custody, and humiliated them by parading them before the media.

Download this resource:

This research is the first large scale quantitative research on sex workers in Fiji. It has enabled an understanding of the nature and extent of sex work in Fiji, rates of HIV and STI infection among sex workers and their knowledge and behaviour around safer sex practices. This research will compliment valuable insights gained from previous qualitative research. The findings from this research will assist in the appropriate targeting and provision of education, resources and health care services to a group previously defined by UNAIDS as a most-at-risk population.

Download this resource:

A series of behavioural-biological surveys in 2008 and 2011 in four districts of Karnataka found that mobilising female sex workers is central to effective HIV prevention programming. Defining community mobilisation exposure as low, medium or high, the study revealed female sex workers with high exposure to community mobilisation are:

Download this resource:

This paper uses an example from Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers' Association and argues for more insider research on migrant sex work and trafficking. The paper is detailed and takes the reader through all the ethical considerations, processes and outcomes of a large scale multilingual migrant sex worker research project

Download this resource:

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.

Download this resource:

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.

Download this resource:

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.

Download this resource:

This report reflects the voices and opinions of 140 participants, including resource persons and sex workers, at the first Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation on HIV and Sex Work, held on October 2010 in Pattaya, Thailand. It covers critical components of the HIV and sex work responses, and four key areas – namely, creating an enabling legal and policy environment, ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights, eliminating violence against sex workers, and addressing migration and mobility in the context of HIV and sex work.

Download this resource:

In their work and lives, sex workers experience disproportionate levels of violence including police abuse, sexual assault, rape, harrassment, extortion, and abuse from clients, agents (pimps), sex establishment owners, intimate partners, local residents, and public authorities.  Violence against sex workers is a violation of their human rights, and increases sex workers' vulnerability to HIV.

Download this resource:

Evidence suggests that HIV interventions in the sex industry are more effective when sex workers themselves have direct ownership in designing, implementing and monitoring of programmes.  This entails moving beyond standard HIV prevention programmes and addressing the overall health - including sexual and reproductive health - and well being needs of sex workers and their clients while, at the same time, respecting fundamental human rights.  Sex workers must be recognised as agents of change rather than as 'vectors' of infection and this requires a paradigm shift in the way sex workers are viewed and engaged in the response.

Download this resource:

Sex workers are highly mobile populations, moving both within and accross national boundaries, as either documented or undocumented labour.  However, labour laws rarely, if ever, offer protection and benefits to local or migrant sex workers.  Migration and mobility factors that can significantly increase the vulnerability of sex workers to HIV and sexually transmitted infections, in large part due to their undocumented status including lack of work permits, poor working conditions in some cases, lack of access to health care, occupational health and safety standards, and other forms of labour protection. 

Download this resource:

Governments and the United Nations have recognised the need to address the legal and policy barriers and stigma and discrimination faced by sex workers in order to respond to the HIV epidemic.  In many countries, laws, policies and practices against sex workers limit their right to basic social economic rights such as access to education, health care, housing, banking facilities, inheritance, property and legal services.  They may also lack citizenship or legal status, resulting from migration or unfavourable regulations, which can lead to exclusion of sex workers from health services, social programmes and communities.

Download this resource:

This study reviewed the condom utilization rates among female sex workers in Thailand, and determined that the rates of use fall far below the 100% Condom Usage rates advocated by the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.

Download this resource:

This report details the abuses, including illegal detainment, physical, sexual, and social violence, perpetrated by law enforcement, legal, and social agencies against sex workers in Cambodia.

Download this resource:

This report details the changes in HIV infection rates in Thailand from the 1980's (prior to the implementation of the 100% Condom Use Programme) to the current day, and examines both the improvements that have been made and the areas still unresolved with regard to sex worker health and safety.

Download this resource:

This study examines the prevalence of STIs (especially Gonorrhoea & Chlamydia) in female sex workers in Soc Trang, Vietnam. It found that the prevalence of GC/CT is high amongst female social workers in Soc Trang. Therefore, periodic presumptive treatment (PPT) for cervicitis, together with World Health Organisation recommended periodic syndromic sexually transmitted disease management, for FSWs and further interventions should be considered, and a 100% condom use programme should be promptly implemented. The existing STI health education program for FSWs should be strengthened.

Download this resource:

This report summarises the AIDS challenge in Asian and Pacific countries. Using the best available evidence, it discusses the reasons why critical services currently reach only a fraction of those in need. It also outlines the action needed that will allow the region to seize this key moment of opportunity.

Finally, the report makes recommendations for urgent implementation of strategies known to work, by global, regional and national political leaders, by international donors, the UN system, civil society and other key stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific.

Download this resource:
Theme: Health

A recent analysis of HIV epidemiology in Cambodia indicated that national prevalence dropped from to 2.2 percent in 2002 to 1.9 percent in 2003 (National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology, and Sexually Transmitted Disease; NCHADS, 2004; UNAIDS, 2005a). As one of the few nations that have managed to check the spread of HIV, Cambodia is widely praised as a success story. This success is often attributed to the 100% Condom Programme. However, the evidence in this report reveals that the national HIV/AIDS program has failed to protect the rights of sex workers as women and as citizens. The recent U.S. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (Department of State, 2006) stated that “Local and international NGOs reported that violence against women, including domestic violence and rape, was common. A local NGO study conducted on women working in the beer promotion industry reported widespread harassment: 83 percent experienced derogatory behavior, 80 percent faced unwanted sexual touching, 54 percent were physically abused, and 60 percent had been threatened, sometimes at gun point.” The report goes on to list impunity of security forces, a weak judiciary and denial of the right to a fair trial in addition to other problems. As governments and donors increasingly move toward HIV care and treatment while coverage of vulnerable groups with appropriate prevention programmes remains low, minimum packages that only promote condom use and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections but ignore the barriers created by stigma and discrimination are likely to fail. UNAIDS (2005b) highlights this problem in its recent policy paper emphasizing the protection of human rights and combating stigma and discrimination, not only for those already living with HIV, but also for those vulnerable or at risk of acquiring an HIV infection.

Download this resource:
Theme: Health

To prevent HIV transmission via commercial sex, a number of countries in the Asia and Near East (ANE) region have adopted “100% Condom Use Programmes” (100% CUPs). These programmes mandate consistent condom use during all commercial sex acts and outline sanctions against brothel management for failure to comply.

Download this resource:
Theme: Health