The Global Fund has established Codes of Conduct which employees, resource recipients, suppliers, Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) members, and governance officials must uphold while carrying out their work. One of the requirements, which applies to all parties under these codes, is to prohibit ‘sexual exploitation.’ Due to widespread conflations of sex work with ‘sexual exploitation,’ however, there is concern that this provision may be misinterpreted to exclude sex workers.
The right to participation in public and political life is enshrined in international human rights law. Broadly, ‘public life’ refers to the realm in which political processes and activities occur. Participation in public life can be formal or informal, taking place from the grassroots to global levels. Through diverse forms of engagement in public life, sex workers have successfully influenced policies, programmes, practices, and discussions which affect their lives.
This Briefing Note outlines the problems with the conflation of the term 'sexual exploitation' with sex work, and how this exacerbates harms to sex workers.
This systematic review and meta-analysis, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), has found that sex workers who have experienced 'regressive policing' (including arrest, extortion and violence from police), are three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence. The study examines the impacts of criminalisation on sex workers’ safety, health, and access to services, using data from 33 countries. Sex workers' health and safety was found to be at risk not only in countries where sex work was criminalised, but also in Canada, which has introduced the “Nordic model”, where purchasing sex is specifically criminalised.
This document is a practical tool for organisations to self-assess whether they meaningfully involve sex workers, and for sex worker-led organisations to assess whether they are meaningfully involved.
This paper places the development of sex workers’ movements over the past two decades within the historical context of feminist discourses on violence against women. The paper discusses the importance of the discourse on violence against women in framing contemporary abolitionist campaigns that seek to criminalize sex work. It goes on to discuss the contemporary context, including the status of alliances and dialogue between women’s, LGBTQ, and sex workers’ movements, focusing on India.
A number of people are excluded from the process and benefits of development because of their sexuality. Policies designed to lift people out of poverty, to provide employment and access to crucial services, all too often exclude those who do not conform to ‘normal’ sexual or gender identities. In many countries, this exclusion is also enforced through law.
Since 2003, US government funding to address the HIV and AIDS pandemic has been subject to an anti-prostitution clause. This clause requires aid recipients to adopt an organizational policy opposing sex work and requires them to keep away from the “promotion of prostitution”. Simultaneously, the efficacy of some HIV prevention efforts for sex work in areas receiving US government funding has diminished. This article seeks to explain the unintended yet adverse effects of the implementation of the pledge through case stories.
You can download this 13 page resource as a PDF below.
This resource is a briefing on why the organisation - the American Jewish World Service - fund sex worker rights organisations, but it is also a very effective introduction to the concept of sex worker rights, and the sex worker rights movement. It disccuses who sex workers are, and what is sex work, the rights of sex workers in places where sex work is illegal, and introduces a rights-based approach.
This reference text seeks to "clarify terms and illustrate examples of alternatives to the use of criminal law as a response to sex work". It provides capsule definitions - with small case-studies or examples - of what a variety of laws and policies look like in terms of their impact on sex work, covering criminalisation, legalisation, and decriminalisation, along with a mini-discussion of other laws that are used against sex workers, such as the criminalisation of HIV transmission, or immigration enforcement.
This paper, written by Phil Marshall, briefly raises some issues around the demand side of trafficking, initially focusing on demand relating to exploitative labour practices and then discussing issues around demand contributing to exploitation for sexual purposes. It is very much an opinion piece, intended to promote discussion.
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'.
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.
In the spring issue of Soundings the author compares lived experience to the representations of trafficking presented by major media and government agencies. The evidence presented is a deconstruction the way that the discourse on sex work and trafficking is shaped.
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.
Sex workers are frequently omitted from discussions about the links between criminalisation, marginalisation, and increased HIV transmission. At the IAS 2010 conference in Vienna, substantial attention was focused on the negative impacts that criminalisation has on men who have sex with men, injection drug users, and people living with HIV—but very little on its effects on sex workers. Few outside of the Global Village explicitly called for decriminalisation of sex work or mentioned that laws criminalizing HIV transmission and exposure exacerbate the damage already being done to sex workers' health and rights. This article explores this omission, how other hard-hit constituencies have struggled for their place on the HIV/AIDS advocacy agenda, and why the HIV/AIDS field should be actively collaborating with sex workers' rights organisations, particularly on anti-criminalisation work.
This paper is the product of discussions of the Thematic Task Team on Creating an Enabling Legal and Policy Environment in preparation for the 1st Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation on HIV and Sex Work, 12 – 15 October 2010 in Pattaya, Thailand.
This paper critically examines the current strategies employed by both governmental and non-governmental agencies (NGO's) to address the issue, focusing on their impact on the women affected. The guidiing principle is that anti-trafficking instruments should not only be in line with the protection of human rights, but should also care not to create or exacerbate existing situations that cuase or contribute to trafficking by instituting policies and practices that further undermine the rights of the concerned groups, in particular women.
As mulheres profissionais do sexo (mps), usualmente denominadas como prostitutas, têm ocupado um lugar marginal e de destaque ao longo da história da humanidade (Roberts, 1998). Na história da prostituição, o que se vê é um ininterrupto esforço, bem sucedido, de controle e ao mesmo tempo exploração da prostituição, ora por parte do Estado, ora por parte da Igreja, ou ambos (Roberts, 1998). Ao colocá-las à margem e, sempre que possível, segregar as mps através de confinamento em casas, a intenção expressa pelos que assim agiam, era de colaborar para a proteção da família. Até recentemente, a maior parte dos programas de intervenção em saúde tratou as profissionais do sexo como potenciais vetores de doenças, especialmente da Aids, com ameaça à saúde dos homens e à segurança da família (MUSA, 2000). Este enfoque foi se deslocando e, atualmente, pelo menos em alguns programas, ele se volta para os riscos à que estão expostas essas mulheres, entre outros, os ocasionados por aqueles clientes que recusam o uso da camisinha, muitas vezes por meio de atitudes violentas.
This article focuses on the existing legal approaches to prostitution, the moral and ideological presumptions underlying the different legislative models and their impact on the working and living conditions of women and men working in the sex industry. It will also touch on the current debate on sex work, including the views of sexworkers themselves. Basically, four different legal regimes can be discerned - prohibitionist, abolitionist, regulamentarist, and labour approaches.