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 case study will describe the journey of sex worker-led organisations in gaining knowledge about the Global Fund and its national processes to ensure the meaningful involvement of sex workers in 2020 Global Fund funding proposals development, and explores the barriers that sex workers face.
This case study focuses on the NSWP’s Global Fund capacity development programme for regional and national sex worker-led organisations, and assesses its impact. The programme supports a range of capacity building activities in 27 countries, and this case study focuses on the impact of these interventions in 2018. Specifically, the case study highlights the ability of regional networks and community experts to provide technical support relating to the Global Fund, and the capacity within sex worker-led organisations to engage with the Global Fund.
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.
Yale Global Health Justice Partnership (GHJP) has released two complementary analyses on prostitution “diversion” programs (PDPs) in the USA: Diversion from Justice: 'A Rights-Based Analysis of Local ‘Prostitution Diversion Programs’ and their Impacts on People in the Sex Sector in the United States'; and 'Un-Meetable Promises: Rhetoric and Reality in New York City’s Human Trafficking Intervention Courts'. One is national in scope and the other focused specifically on New York City programming.
This case study is a follow-up to The Global Fund Workshops case study published in 2015. The Global Fund workshops were a series of five-day workshops which took place in 2015. In 2016, the Regional Community Experts, supported by National Community Experts, provided a series of workshops in 18 countries and helped implement country-level follow up activities through virtual technical support. NSWP’s Senior Programme Officer supported the Regional Community Experts. This case study describes the goals, strategies and impact of the national-level workshops and country-level follow-up activities.
The Global Fund workshops are a series of five-day workshops which took place in 2015, organised by NSWP in partnership with regional sex worker-led networks. The Global Fund is one of the world’s largest funders for providing testing, treatment and care for people living with HIV. The workshops are designed to provide sex worker communities with essential information for understanding The Global Fund. This case study describes the goals, strategies and impact of the workshops.
This case study reflects on the development and impact of the Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT), and NSWP's role in this process. The SWIT resource, produced by the World Health Organization, provides practical guidance for implementing effective HIV and STI programmes for sex workers. It emphasizes the importance of decriminalisation of sex work, the involvement of sex workers in developing policy, and the empowerment and self-determination of sex working communities as a fundamental part of the fight against HIV. An accessible 24-page Smart Guide to the SWIT is also available.
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 Anti-Trafficking Review is published by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), a network of over 100 NGOs worldwide focused on promoting and advancing the human rights of migrants and trafficked persons.
This Review explores what happens to the money and how the money to combat human trafficking is spent that is allocated by governments and private donors to stop human trafficking and to assist people who have been trafficked.
A “working paper” prepared as background to Building on the Evidence: An International Symposium on the Sex Industry in Canada
This paper is a result of a research programme in Canada’s sex industry: workers and their intimate partners, managers and clients.
In 1999, the Swedish government embarked on an experiment in social engineering1 to end men’s practice of purchasing commercial sexual services. The government enacted a new law criminalizing the purchase (but not the sale) of sex (Swedish Penal Code). It hoped that the fear of arrest and increased public stigma would convince men to change their sexual behaviour. The government also hoped that the law would force the estimated 1,850 to 3,000 women who sold sex in Sweden at that time to find another line of work.
This research is the first large scale quantitative research on sex workers in Fiji. It has enabled an understanding of the nature and extent of sex work in Fiji, rates of HIV and STI infection among sex workers and their knowledge and behaviour around safer sex practices. This research will compliment valuable insights gained from previous qualitative research. The findings from this research will assist in the appropriate targeting and provision of education, resources and health care services to a group previously defined by UNAIDS as a most-at-risk population.
This resource reflects on a Dutch proposal that would increase the legal minimum age for sex workers from 18 to 21. It aims to understand what is the role of ‘age’ in shaping social protection policies regarding sex work in The Netherlands by analysing the discourses on the meaning of age, shaped by those involved in the design and implementation of policies related to sex work in The Netherlands. The resource seeks to answer the following questions:
A series of behavioural-biological surveys in 2008 and 2011 in four districts of Karnataka found that mobilising female sex workers is central to effective HIV prevention programming. Defining community mobilisation exposure as low, medium or high, the study revealed female sex workers with high exposure to community mobilisation are:
This article evaluates four popular claims regarding human trafficking’s international magnitude, trends, and seriousness relative to other illicit global activities. The four central claims frequently made regarding human trafficking are:
This Report aims to summarize the arguments for and against the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services. It first describes the experiences of Swedish and Dutch legal regulation relating to the purchase of sexual services. In Sweden, there is a wish to abolish sex work by way of criminalising the client. In the Netherlands, sex work is allowed within certain limits (only involuntary sex work comes under criminal rules).
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 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
This study can be used as evidence of the need for governments and health programmes to take the needs and rights of sex workers living with HIV on board!
Although disproportionately affected by HIV, sex workers remain neglected by efforts to expand access to ART. In Zimbabwe, this qualitative research study was carried out to determine some of the reasons sex workers take up HIV referrals and ART initiation.