Resources

Abuses against sex workers and erosions of HIV prevention efforts resulting from anti-trafficking initiatives

The following is direct testimony from a Pondicherry-based NGO, Society for Development, Research & Training (SFDRT) describing exactly how anti-trafficking programmes are rolling out IN PRACTICE. Whatever the theory of anti-trafficking, UNAIDS, ILO, UNDP, USAID and others must see that in practice anti-trafficking initiatives are a direct threat to sexual health programmes and to the human rights of sex workers and migrants. – November, 2002.

It is indeed an additional burden to work with HIV/AIDS preventive programme with that of trafficking issues but at the same time it is quite evident that those of whom are working on STD/HIV/AIDS are the best to work on anti-trafficking issues too. With an example sited below where in the staff of SFDRT with four other NGOs were invited by the top officials of the police dept. in Pondicherry for a topic on anti-trafficking and NGOs support.

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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.

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From:Melissa Hope

Date:September 13, 2005 11:48:42 AM EDT
To:bmcserieseditor@biomedcentral.com, editorial@biomedcentral.com, info@biomedcentral.com
Cc:Lori Heise , brachlis@ccnm.edu, Kumanan.Wilson@uhn.on.ca, sosingh@jhsph.edu, pwu@ccnm.edu, elainem.wong@gmail.com, emills@ccnm.edu
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.

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The anti-sex work anti-trafficking agenda: a threat to sex workers' health and human rights

Statement from the Network of Sex Work Projects (Booth 98) at the XIV International Conference on AIDS, Barcelona, July 2002

While a number of anti-trafficking organisations recognise sex work as a legitimate profession, those organisations that seek to repress sex work and sex workers are gaining the upper hand. These include internationally active, highly funded organisations such as the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). CATW recently published a 'hit list' of organisations receiving US funding, accusing them of 'promoting prostitution'. This hit list includes well-known and well-respected organisations providing essential HIV care and prevention services to sex workers in a number of countries.

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Theme: Health

XIVth International AIDS Conference

Barcelona, Spain 7-12 July 2002

By Shane Petzer

Some 15 000 delegates participated in this bi-annual event. Amongst hundreds of organisations represented at the Conference, the NSWP hosted a number of events and presented work in a variety of forums throughout the duration of the Conference which contributed to the Conferences¹ overall success.

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Theme: Health

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.

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Theme: Health

Making Sex Work Safe in Asia-Pasifika

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Theme: Health

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Research for Sex Work 5: Health, HIV and Sex Work - the Influence of Migration and Mobility 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.

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This report summarises the AIDS challenge in Asian and Pacific countries. Using the best available evidence, it discusses the reasons why critical services currently reach only a fraction of those in need. It also outlines the action needed that will allow the region to seize this key moment of opportunity.

Finally, the report makes recommendations for urgent implementation of strategies known to work, by global, regional and national political leaders, by international donors, the UN system, civil society and other key stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific.

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Theme: Health

This article examines the public discourses invoked in United Kingdom debates about prostitution and the trafficking of women. It takes two particular debates as its focus: the kerbcrawling debates from the late 1970s to the present and the more recent trafficking debate. The authors suggest that there are three striking features about the UK discourses on prostitution: i) the absence of the sex work discourse, ii) the dominance of the public nuisance discourse in relation to kerb-crawling, and iii) the dominance of a traditional moral discourse in relation to trafficking.

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Knowledge and experience about how to work with sex workers on health issues remains incomplete and controversial. However, by bringing together epidemiological data, operations and behavioural research, project reports and, most importantly, information from communities themselves, practical strategies, guiding principles and measures of success can be identified. A degree of consensus has emerged among frontline projects and key agencies, including many governments, about which combination of policies and programmes reduce HIV transmission during commercial sex.

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The objective of this article is to describe the use of lemon/lime juice for douching by female sex workers and family planning clients in Jos, Nigeria. Over half the women believed that it protected them from pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted infections; they did not know their HIV status. Eighty-six percent would recommend it to others, and 71% would be willing to take part in a study to evaluate its safety and efficacy. Conclusion: Lemon and lime juice are widely used for douches among women at high risk of HIV transmission.

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Theme: Health

To prevent HIV transmission via commercial sex, a number of countries in the Asia and Near East (ANE) region have adopted “100% Condom Use Programmes” (100% CUPs). These programmes mandate consistent condom use during all commercial sex acts and outline sanctions against brothel management for failure to comply.

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Theme: Health

This report provides an overview of important issues that sex workers face in the region as well as to the political, economic, and social factors that influence policies and attitudes toward sex workers. It focuses primarily on existing laws and policies and their consequences from the perspective of HIV prevention and treatment. The report also offers recommendations designed to uphold sex workers’ human rights and remove barriers that reduce their ability or willingness to obtain access to consistent and equitable health care and other social services.

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