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.
This report from Amnesty International, based on in-depth interviews with sex workers, experts and representatives of the Irish authorities, provides insights into sex workers’ human rights in Ireland, in particular their right to safety and freedom from violence. It shows that criminalisation of aspects of sex work in Ireland has a “chilling effect” on sex workers’ exercise of their human rights, for instance by preventing them from working together in one apartment for safety.
Sex Workers mark the 3rd International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers with a protest at the 6th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong.
December 17 is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers and each year sex-worker organisations in different parts of the world organise different activities to commemorate the sex workers who have been abused and/or killed, and urge the public to respect sex workers' human rights. Just in time for the 6th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (MC6) held in Hong Kong, sex-worker organisations from all over the world (Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia) marched and held exhibitions to help the public understand more about the situation of sex workers, and to eliminate violence against sex workers.
Subject: Guatemala - LGBT activist shot, witness in danger
Date: 21 December 2005
AI Index: AMR 34/044/2005
Fear for Safety — Guatemala
LGBT activist shot, witness in danger
Sulma (legal name Kevin Josue Alegria Robles) Other transvestite sex workers in Guatemala City Other members of the Organizacion de Apoyo a una Sexualidad Integral frente al SIDA, Integral Sexuality AIDS Support Organisation (OASIS)
Stigma still the major barrier for an effective HIV/AIDS response
By Shyamala Ashok, India
After a great trauma and toil in loosing one of our committed peer educators for sex workers and most of all a young friend of ours with the HIV status, a member of the women's positive network in Pondicherry, I have tried to illustrate the case for an analysis as below.
Date:September 13, 2005 11:48:42 AM EDT
To:firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc:Lori Heise , email@example.com, Kumanan.Wilson@uhn.on.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject:Letter in response to Mills et al's "Media reporting of tenofovir trials in Cambodia and Cameroon"
To the editor:
Mills et al("Media reporting of tenofovir trials in Cambodia and Cameroon" BMC International Health and Human Rights 2005, 5:6, 24 August 24, 2005) claim in their first sentence that PREP trials were "closed due to activist pressure on host country governments". Activists worked to improve trial conditions, which would have been a real victory. The reason these trials were closed was that researchers did not meet with or meet the needs of participants. This lack of engagement with participants is why participants became activists and reached out to their international support networks and the media.
Friday, December 30, 2006
WE ARE INDIGNANT!
We Condemn To The Highest The Degree The Barbaric Acts Alleged To Be Police And Uniformed Officers Of Guatemala!
It is sad to note that persons who are given the responsibility of safeguarding the lives of the people in the community and maintaining peace and order ARE THE LAW BREAKERS THEMSELVES!
The death of Paulina and shooting of Sulma are examples of abuse of power! We are sad and we condemn those perpetrators that has caused her death and endangering the life of all other travestis/transgenders who do sex work!
APNSW statement at 7th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, Kobe, Japan
July 5, 2005
Please forward widely
This morning at the closing ceremony of the Seventh International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific Maria-san and Andrew of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) talked about sex workers' experience of the conference. The opportunity for sex workers from twenty countries throughout the region to come together again. We had a lot to celebrate. The APNSW and the Japanese sex workers movement were both founded here in Japan in Yokohama in 1994. Now as then our Japanese sex worker colleagues were wonderful hosts organizing cultural events that ensured that male, female and transgender sex workers were the stars of the day.
This report focuses on indoor sex work primarily because, while these sex workers are largely invisible, they face many of the same problems as the more visible street-based prostitutes. The stereotypes of indoor sex workers encompass only extremes of either wealth and glamour or coercion and violence. The true picture reveals a more nuanced reality—the majority of indoor sex workers in this study live surprisingly precarious lives, and encounter a high level of exactly the same problems faced by street-based sex workers, including violence, constant fear of police interference, and a lack of substantive support services. Finding concrete and reality-based solutions to the needs of this invisible, vulnerable, and marginalised community is imperative to helping them create safe and stable lives.
In response to the traditional emphasis on the rights, interests, and well-being of individual research subjects, there has been growing attention focused on the importance of involving communities in research development and approval.
This booklet explains how Canada’s criminal laws related to prostitution affect the health and the human rights of sex workers. It recommends changes to those laws to improve the lives of sex workers. This booklet is based on the report Sex, work, rights: reforming Canadian criminal laws on prostitution (click for more information and to download the 124 page report), published in 2005 by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.
This Declaration is made by sex workers and by organisations dedicated to promoting their human rights and welfare. The Declaration lists rights that all individuals within Europe, including sex workers, enjoy under international human rights law; the Declaration then prescribes measures and recommends practices that the signatories of the Declaration believe are the minimum necessary to ensure that these rights are respected and protected. These rights must be respected and protected in the development and implementation of policies and programmes designed to address trafficking, irregular migration or terrorism.
This paper addresses the persistence of violence against female commercial sex workers in the United States, drawing on the experiences of the Best Practices Policy Project in conducting outreach, research, and relationship building with diverse commercial sex worker stakeholders.
Research for Sex Work 8: Sex Work and Law Enforcement is a peer-reviewed publication for sex workers, activists, health workers, researchers, NGO staff and policy makers. It is available in English. All issues of Research for Sex Work can be found here.