Usha Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited (USHA) is the largest and the first ever sex worker-led financial institution in South Asia, exclusively run by and for sex workers. Steered by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), a sex worker collective in West Bengal, India, USHA provides economic empowerment to sex workers by offering them loans at low interest rates, encouraging short and long-term savings and supporting self-employment schemes.
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.
This is a summary of the findings of the Economic Empowerment: Does Rehabilitation Have a Role? briefing paper and the Overcoming Practices that Limit Sex Worker Agency in the Asia Pacific Region briefing paper. In this summary, NSWP reflects on the impact of economic empowerment programmes for sex workers.
This is a summary of the Asia and the Pacific regional report on economic and social empowerment and the Africa regional report on economic empowerment programmes for sex workers. In this summary, NSWP reflects on best practices for the economic empowerment of sex workers, focusing on elements of successful economic empowerment programmes and describing lessons learnt from programmes that fail.
Andrew Hunter Memorial Tribute Leaflet
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.
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:
This regional report explores economic empowerment programmes in Asia through case studies through nine case studies. It describes good practice examples of sex worker-led economic empowerment projects and the impact of forced rehabilitation programmes on the lives of sex workers. A summary of the regional reports regarding econoic empowerment is also available.
This paper discusses policies and programmes affecting sex workers that limit their economic empowerment. It aims to frame sex work in terms of labour migration, economics and empowering labour environments, rather than in terms of power, disease and immorality. A summary of this paper is also available.
In Southeast Asia, APNSW observed that sex workers frequently move to faraway lands to find more lucrative work and economic enhancement, but are greatly constrained by anti-trafficking policies framed by a belief that no woman will move willingly to work in sex work. Anti-trafficking laws are often used to limit free movement of women in sex work by raiding and ‘rescuing’ them. Though this is ostensibly done to help them escape traffickers, it is mainly used to ‘correct’ their behaviour.
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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This article explores the implications of an amendment to H.R. 1298, the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act, seeks to deny U.S. funding to organizations that do not have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution.