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.
This is the Report of the Committee on HIV/AIDS which documents the discussions leading up to the drafting process of ILO Recommendation No. 200 on HIV/AIDS and the world of work (you can download this document as a separate source by following this link).
The first international labour standard on HIV and AIDS in the world of work was adopted by governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives from ILO member States at the International Labour Conference in June 2010.
St. James Infirmary provides compassionate and non-judgmental healthcare and social
services for current and former sex workers of all genders and sexual orientations while helping to prevent occupational illnesses and injuries through a comprehensive continuum of services.
This report was commissioned and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and implemented by the Sex Work Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT). The report found that during the 2010 World Cup period, there was a small increase in the number of female sex workers who advertised online and in newspapers and sex workers did not typically see more clients during the World Cup period. The report also found that sex workers' demographics did not change significantly during the World Cup. The date does not support fears about an increase of children or foreign migrant sex workers into the sex industry during the World Cup.
Short report in English of the work of the UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work during 2010.
This is the Plain English version of the Note for Record of the June 2010 UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work.
This is the English version of the Note for Record of the June 2010 UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work.
The report Sexuality and Development: Brazilian National Response to HIV/AIDS amongst Sex Workers presents the main findings of a case study conducted during 2008-2009 by The Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA), which is one component of a global research initiative sponsored by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) “Sexuality and Development” Program.
These terms of reference, developed jointly by representatives of the Global Working Group on HIV and Sex Work Policy and United Nations system, seek to enhance consultation on HIV and sex work between UNAIDS and sex workers.
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.
Research for Sex Work 12: Sex Work and Violence is a peer-reviewed publication for sex workers, activists, health workers, researchers, NGO staff and policy makers. It is available in English and Russian. All issues of Research for Sex Work can be found here.
In Uganda, 6.4% of the 33 million people are HIV/AIDS positive. This is a sharp decline from about 30% in the 1980s, when the pandemic first struck the country. The theme for this year’s World Aids Day was: 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. However, Uganda chose to mark the day under the theme to highlight the need for Paediatric HIV/AIDS interventions under the theme “I have a duty to protect every child from HIV/AIDS….. Do you?” The theme reflected Uganda’s national priority in addressing the challenges of the pandemic in the country, with an estimated 25,000 children born each year HIV positive.