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 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.

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

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.

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

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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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In 2011, the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) commissioned Kaitiaki to undertake an in-depth investigation to understand better the issues facing migrant sex workers in New Zealand especially with regard to occupational health and safety, and reproductive health.

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Theme: Labour

The bulletin of the DMSC, discussing common financial scams, police violence, and the work to tackle HIV, human rights violations by the police, and the stigma that prevents sex workers from accessing services.

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The bulletin of the DMSC, discussing common financial scams, police violence, and the work done to tackle HIV, human rights violations by the police, and the stigma that prevents sex workers from accessing services. It also discusses the success that self-regulating sex worker boards have had in tackling trafficking, in contrast to the more well-resourced non-sex worker-led programmes.

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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 Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee is a collective of 65000 female, male and transgender sex workers in West Bengal, India. Their most recent Bulletin (No 22.) includes recent news and coverage of their AGM.

You can download this 4 page pdf Bulletin above (in English).

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