Resources

This large, Canadian research explores the perceived control and power within interactions between sex workers and their clients. Sex workers and clients report that most of their interactions are free of conflict and are characterised by relatively symmetrical dynamics of control and power. The ability to negotiate over the terms and conditions of the commercial sexual services offered and sought before meeting in person is linked to workers feeling more control over condom use and feeling more empowered compared to those whose first encounter with clients is face-to-face. This ability to clearly advertise services allows workers to more explicitly state what is and is not being offered so that there is less confusion over expectations, something  that most clients appear to appreciate  and desire for themselves.

Sex workers are often talked about as facing high rates of violence, significant exposure to STIs, as well as work-related psychological stress. Yet even as sex workers are called ‘at risk’ by researchers and  health professionals, their health needs are unaddressed or unknown in many conventional health care settings. Peer-led health services provider Persist researched sex workers' experiences and with health services, as well as and what sex workers themselves wanted.

Theme: Health

This article discusses sex worker organising in the United States. It's full title is 'United States Organising: It Is Not Okay to De-Legitimise Sex Work Under Guise of Trafficking and End Demand'. It was written by Cris Sardina of the Desiree Alliance, Penelope Saunders of the Best Practices Policy Project (BPPP) and others from local communities in the US. The article was published as part of Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work. Contents include:

In 2013, the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (HTICs) were launched in New York. These courts were the USA's first statewide human trafficking intervention within a justice system. This research explores the impact of these courts through studying 364 cases in 2013 and 2014. It concludes that the HTICS do not respect the human rights of the people they process and distort the line between consent and coercion. This makes it more difficult for people who are victimised – by clients, ‘pimps’, police, and courts – to seek justice.

NSWP member Stella produced 9 fact sheets for sex workers in Canada. The fact sheets provide important information about the changes to Canadian law (the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, 2014) that criminalise sex workers, clients, and third parties. The fact sheets offer practical tools for sex workers and explain how the new laws negatively impact sex workers.

NSWP, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, emphatically condemns the actions of the USA’s Department of Homeland Security and federal prosecutors in New York for the raid on the offices of Rentboy.com and the arrests of seven of its staff members.

The UK Network of Sex Work Projects, with women, men and transgender people working in the UK sex industry, developed this booklet on Safety Advice for Sex Workers in the UK. This booklet provides general and detailed safety advice for sex workers in different situations and different work places. It also includes information on ways to report bad clients and contact information for local sex worker projects in the UK.

Download this resource: Advocates Call for Justice

This study gives a legal analysis of the legislative framework and jurisprudence relating to human trafficking in Canada. It also analyses the views of both criminal justice system personnel and SWAN society personnel on the enforcement and use of anti-trafficking legal measures. Contents include:

The article examines how language helps the construction of fictive kinships networks (family-like structures among marginalized populations) amongst Southwestern U.S. street-level sex workers. These networks establish ties and obligations - as well as power structures - between members of the community.

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This article offers a historical account and critical assessment of the prostitution-reform debates’ considerable influence on anti-trafficking law and policy development over the last decade. The article exposes the difficulties of translating anti-prostitution ideology, borne out of closely held moral and ethical beliefs, into effective governance strategies.

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St. James Infirmary provides compassionate and non-judgmental healthcare and social
services for current and former sex workers of all genders and sexual orientations while helping to prevent occupational illnesses and injuries through a comprehensive continuum of services.

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Theme: Health

This is a formal letter of request that the Ontario Human Rights Commission conduct a public inquiry into discrimination against Ottawa-area sex workers by the Ottawa Police Service.

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This is the judgement of the Ontario Court of Appeal staying the ruling (pursuant to appeal) of Justice Susan Himel in the case Bedford v Canada, where the following sections of the Code were struck down: the common bawdy-house provisions, the living on the avails of adult prostitution offence, and the communication for the purpose of prostitution offence.

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This community-based report by POWER discusses the challenges faced by sex workers in Ottawa and Gatineau in Ontario, Canada. They interviewed 43 adult sex workers including male, female, and transgender sex workers and used this research to guide their advocacy efforts. The report outlines, in detail, the context of sex worker in Ottawa and Gatineau, the labour site challenges faced by sex workers, stigma, discrimination, and violence against sex workers in the region.

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This report is submitted by the Best Practices Policy Project, Desiree Alliance, and the Sexual Rights Initiative. It focuses on civil and human rights violations of those engaged, or perceived to be engaged, in sexual trade and sex work in the U.S..

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This report about the human rights of sex workers in the United States was submitted under the following process. Human Rights Council resolution 12/27 "The promotion and protection of human rights in the context of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)", requested the Secretary General to prepare "an analytical study based on comments from Governments, United Nations organs, programmes and specialised agencies, particularly the Joint United Nations Programmes on HIV/AIDS and its co-sponsor agencies, in cooperation with relevant bodies of the United Nations system, including the Office of the High Commissioner and international and non-governmental organisation, on the steps taken to promote and implement programmes to address HIV/AIDS-related human rights".

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Theme: Health