Resources

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.

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.

Legislation around sex work can be extremely complex and different legal models exist in different countries, and sometimes even within countries. While understanding the written laws and regulations is important, it does not provide a complete picture of the impact of sex work laws on the lives of sex workers. To understand this, it is essential to understand how the laws are interpreted, enforced, and implemented on the ground.

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.

Theme: Health

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.

NSWP have written an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Government of Spain, and the leaders of all political parties in the Congress of Deputies regarding the legislative proposals to amend the Spanish Penal Code and introduce new provisions regarding sex work. The proposed reforms include amending the Penal Code to extend the punishment of third parties to include non-coercive relationships and decouple it from exploitation and consent, violating sex workers’ right to housing and the security of sex workers, many of whom live and work in the same place.

Download this resource: NSWP Open Letter, NSWP - 2022

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.

This infographic summarises the Briefing Paper on Sex Workers’ Lack of Access to Justice.

Sex workers around the world face a wide range of barriers to accessing justice, both as victims of crime and when charged with crimes. Since sex work is widely criminalised, most sex workers are denied access to the benefits and rights afforded to other workers under labour laws and face the risk of criminalisation, detention, deportation and legal sanction.

This resource has been developed both for researchers and community-based organisations in rights-constrained environments. It is intended to help both researchers and community organisations to:

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Theme: Health

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.

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This resource builds on INCITE's substantial background in issues faced by women of colour, criminalised or street-based communities, and queer and trans youth, particularly around police and state violence. It focuses on how "police violence against sex workers is not perceived by mainstream organisations as either police brutality, or violence against women, when it is clearly a manifestation of both".

You can download this 4 page PDF resource above. this resource is in English.

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The need to reduce ‘demand’ for trafficked persons is widely mentioned in the anti-trafficking sector but few have looked at ‘demand’ critically or substantively. Some ‘demand’-based approaches have been heavily critiqued, such as the idea that eliminating sex workers’ clients (or the ‘demand’ for commercial sex) through incarceration or stigmatisation will reduce trafficking.

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Source: AsiaCatalyst.org
 
The 2010 "Strike Hard Campaign" (police crackdowns) put in place a zero tolerance policy on sex work, gambling and drugs all across China. While many brothels and popular clubs were closed ultimately sex workers continued work out in more remote areas. This geographic shift cut people off from essential health services, HIV/AIDS education, and even funeral services for women who die while cut off from their families.

Here in its first major report The China Sex Worker Organization Network Forum trained its members to document the effects of the crackdown.
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You can download this 12 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

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This is a summary of the New Prevention Technologies and their Implications for Sex Workers briefing paper. It provides an overview of the new HIV prevention tools on the horizon, including microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), vaccines, and ‘treatment for prevention’. It details the possible positive and negative impacts of these as identified by sex worker organisations. Finally, it explores how sex workers’ advocacy can influence the development and introduction of these tools in ways that maximise usefulness and minimise risk to sex workers.  

Theme: Health

This NSWP briefing paper provides an overview of the new HIV prevention tools on the horizon, including microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), vaccines, and ‘treatment for prevention’. It details the possible positive and negative impacts of these as identified by sex worker organisations. Finally, it explores how sex workers’ advocacy can influence the development and introduction of these tools in ways that maximise usefulness and minimise risk to sex workers. A summary  is also available.

Theme: Health

This is a summary of the Criminalisation of Clients briefing paper. The criminalisation of sex workers’ clients is often claimed to be part of a new legal framework to eradicate sex work and trafficking by ‘ending demand’. In 1999, Sweden criminalised sex workers’ clients and maintained the criminalisation of third parties such as brothel-owners, managers, security and support staff. The individual selling of sex remained legal. This model is frequently referred to as the ‘Swedish’, ‘Nordic’ or ‘End Demand’ model. There is great pressure in many countries to advance such legal and policy measures. The damaging consequences of this model on sex workers’ health, rights and living conditions are rarely discussed.