This conference paper, presented at the International Workshop: Decriminalizing Prostitution and Beyond: Practical Experiences and Challenges, The Hague, March 2011 analyses the evidence for the claims of success for 'the Swedish Model'.
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This study was carried out to ascertain the cost effectiveness of targeted interventions for female sex workers under the National AIDS Control Programme in India.
Its conclusion was that at the current gross domestic product in India, targeted intervention is a cost-effective strategy for HIV prevention in India.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Creating an Enabling Legal & Policy Environment for Increased Access to HIV & AIDS Services for Sex Workers
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.
"Who is Helsinki?" Sex workers advise improving communication for good participatory practice in clinical trials
After premature closures in 2004 of biomedical human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention trials involving sex workers in Africa and Asia, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention (AVAC) undertook consultations to establish better participatory guidelines for such trials in order to address ethical concerns. This study investigated sex workers’ knowledge and beliefs about research ethics and good participatory practices (GPP) and the perspectives of sex workers on research participation. A 33-question survey based on criteria identified by UNAIDS and AVAC was translated into three other languages.
The RighT Guide is a tool to assess the human rights impacts of anti-trafficking policies. The tool was created by both sex worker-led organisations and allies. The aim of the toolkit is to provide NGOs and other organisations with a tool they can use to assess the consequences of anti-trafficking policies on the human rights of the people most affect by these policies, such as sex workers. The tool provides the step-by-step process to study the impact of anti-trafficking policies, which then provides evidence-based research for advocacy against these policies.
This document includes 15 factsheets that answer questions and define terms used in the RighT Guide: A Tool to Assess the Human Rights Impact of Anti-trafficking Policies. The tool was created by both sex worker-led organisations and allies. The aim of the toolkit is to provide NGOs and other organisations with a tool they can use to assess the consequences of anti-trafficking policies on the human rights of the people most affect by these policies, such as sex workers. These factsheets should be used with the RighT Guide to answer questions that readers may have.
The RighT guide helps NGOs to assess the human rights impact of anti-trafficking measures. This strengthens their advocacy for more effective, rights-based policies against trafficking. This brochure outlines specific ways that NGOs can benefit from the guide, and gives information on its use. This document includes sections discussing: