Sex workers all over the world were among the hardest hit communities at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to be impacted by this global public health crisis. The structural oppression that sex workers faced before the pandemic as a result of criminalisation, stigma and discrimination was exacerbated as sex workers experienced hardship, a total loss of income, increased harassment, human rights abuses, and health inequalities. The vast majority of sex workers were excluded from emergency responses and national social protection schemes.
This infographic summarises the Smart Sex Worker’s Guide to Community-led Responses to COVID-19.
Sex workers were among the hardest hit at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to be impacted by this global public health crisis. The challenges that sex workers faced before COVID-19, as a result of criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, were all exacerbated by the pandemic.
The 2023-2028 Global Fund Strategy will guide Global Fund approaches, decision-making, and investment for the next 6 years in a 70-page document. It is important because it describes what the Global Fund will do and how it will do it. The Strategy will influence how investment will be disbursed at the country level, how and who will implement programmes, and how and who will be involved in making the decisions.
This is the fourth set of videos in a series from NSWP called Global Fund Basics.
This set of videos covers the new Global Fund Strategy 2023-2028.
Video 1 covers an introduction to the Strategy and the Strategy Framework.
Video 2 covers the Evolving Objective and begins to look at the Strategy Narrative in more detail.
Video 3 covers the Mutually Reinforcing Contributory Objectives, maximising engagement and leadership of communities and maximising health equity, gender equality and human rights.
Universal Health Coverage speaks to the global goal of providing all people with the health care they need without creating undue financial burdens on the individual. In many parts of the world, health provision and access to health services remains extremely poor, particularly for criminalised and marginalised populations such as sex workers and other key populations.
Sex workers worldwide are overwhelmingly excluded from social protection schemes and government emergency responses put in place for other workers. Criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, and the failure to recognise sex work as work compound sex workers’ exclusion and foster economic insecurity. Sex work must be recognised as work and all aspects decriminalised to ensure that sex workers can access the same social protections, emergency financial support, and labour rights as all other workers.
Misinformation about sex work and sex workers has long served as a tool for politicians, religious leaders, fundamental feminists and abolitionist groups, and anti-trafficking organisations to advance anti-sex work agendas.
Misinformation about sex work and sex workers has long served as a tool for politicians, religious leaders, fundamental feminists and abolitionist groups, and anti-trafficking organisations to advance anti-sex work agendas. The conflation of sex work with trafficking and exploitation is at the root of misinformation on sex work. ‘End Demand’ models that criminalise sex workers’ clients, ‘raid and rescue’ operations, and ‘exit’ and ‘rehabilitation’ services further deny the diverse lived experiences of sex workers while obscuring true victims of trafficking.
The struggles for sex workers’ and women’s rights are innately interconnected. Worldwide, most sex workers are women, who share challenges in their fight for justice, equality, and the right to be free from violence, stigma, and discrimination. Nevertheless, within the women’s movement there have been obstacles to acceptance of and meaningful engagement with sex worker-led organisations, ranging from ideological opposition to outright abuse.
This is the third video in a series from NSWP called Global Fund Basics.
In this video, learn more about Catalytic Investments. Catalytic Investments are a portion of funding for the Global Fund supported programmes, activities and strategic investments that are not fully covered through country allocations.
This video is in English and versions of the video with Spanish, French, and Russian subtitles are also available.
NSWP have published this written statement in response to the High Level Meeting on Trafficking in Persons. You can read the statement below or download it above. The Count Me In! Consortium have also published a video which you can watch below.
As a criminalised population, sex workers have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, often living in precarious economic situations and excluded from social protection systems. This policy brief includes feedback directly from sex worker-led organisations and sex workers on their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impact upon access to services, supplies of HIV treatment, and prevention commodities.
This is the second set of videos in a series from NSWP called Global Fund Basics.
In this set of 4 videos, learn more about Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCM). The CCM is responsible for identifying the work that needs to be done in HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and submitting technical proposals to the Global Fund, identifying the Principle Recipient and overseeing the implementation of grants.
The research project Sex Work and Mental Health: Access to Mental Health Services for People Who Sell Sex (SWMH) in Germany, Italy, Sweden and UK ran between March 2016 and December 2018.
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 HIV Policy Lab – an online platform that gathers and monitors laws and policies adopted by countries around the world, documenting where key HIV science has been translated into policy –has developed a set of analyses to support advocacy around the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS 2021 and 10-10-10 targets.
This is a summary of NSWP's Consensus Statement on Sex Work, Human Rights, and the Law. The Consensus Statement is issued on behalf of NSWP members and the sex workers they represent including sex workers of all genders, class, race, ethnicity, health status, age, nationality, citizenship, language, education levels, disabilities, and many other factors.
NSWP member organisation the English Collective of Prostitutes and Dr Laura Connelly from the University of Salford have published new research that looks at EU Migrant Sex Work in the UK Post-Referendum.
The research, conducted in 2019, shows that violence, xenophobia and threats of deportation against migrant sex workers from the European Union have risen since the EU Referendum.
Key findings from the research include:
This is the first in a series of videos from NSWP called Global Fund Basics.
In this video, you'll hear about the history of the Global Fund, how it's structured, how it works, the three civil society delegations and the three standing committees.
This video is in English and is also available with Spanish, French, and Russian subtitles.