Resources

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.

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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.

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This article looks at how legalisation came to the netherlands; what it was intended to do, and what the impact has been on sex workers. In order to answer these lines of enquiry, the article examines what discourses frame the major actors in this debate, starting with a historical overview of Dutch sex work policies throughout the 20th century. Having established the socio-political backdrop of the Netherlands' approach to legalised sex work, the resource discusses how legalisation (or regulationism) "did not solve a number of serious problems in the sex industry".

This concise guide to the difference between sex work and trafficking - and what a response to trafficking grounded in sex worker rights looks like - discusses the key differences between sex work and trafficking; the differences that make the habitual conflation of the two not only inaccurate but also a hinderance to tackling actual exploitation, and a threat to the human rights of sex workers.

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This reference text seeks to "clarify terms and illustrate examples of alternatives to the use of criminal law as a response to sex work". It provides capsule definitions - with small case-studies or examples - of what a variety of laws and policies look like in terms of their impact on sex work, covering criminalisation, legalisation, and decriminalisation, along with a mini-discussion of other laws that are used against sex workers, such as the criminalisation of HIV transmission, or immigration enforcement.

Note: This report has been updated, following agreement with UNAIDS in January 2012 to revisions in the document.  

This resource was officially launched in December 2011 as a separate report from the Advisory Group at the UNAIDS Secretariat in Geneva, during the 29th meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board and has now been integrated into the UNAIDS Guidance Note on HIV and Sex Work as annexes and published by UNAIDS. 

The 'Hit & Run' report is the result of 12 months of research by Empower's RATSW project, investigates human rights violations against sex workers carried out in the name of 'rescues' under the anti-trafficking laws.

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This document has been updated following discussions at the consensus meeting on the need to highlight explicitly the responses provided on collective empowerment. 

The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) oversaw a civil society consultation of sex workers commissioned by the WHO to gather feedback on their proposed guidelines for evidence-based interventions for the prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in low- and middle-income countries.

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Source: rightswork.org

This paper, written by Phil Marshall, briefly raises some issues around the demand side of trafficking, initially focusing on demand relating to exploitative labour practices and then discussing issues around demand contributing to exploitation for sexual purposes. It is very much an opinion piece, intended to promote discussion.

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The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) oversaw a civil society consultation of sex workers commissioned by the WHO to gather feedback on their proposed guidelines for evidence-based interventions for the prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in low- and middle-income countries.

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For more information on Prostitution Issues at the World Conference on Women Beijing '95 see the Prostitutes Education Network at: http://www.bayswan.org/UNpage.html.

Trafficking Statement from the North American Delegates of the Network of Sex Work Projects

Recognizing that fraudulent and coercive trafficking and forced prostitution have historically been problems, threatening the health and well-being of women in developing countries, as well as women in post-industrialized countries, and

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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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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.

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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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Letter to the U. S. Department of State. This letter, signed by nine researchers from around the globe and addressed to Ambassador John Miller, provides a response to the facts listed in the Department of State's Fact Sheet on Prostitution and Trafficking, released in 2004. In this letter, the signatories discuss the problems with the fact sheet and it's conclusions,

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This document is a collection of a number of papers presenting a broad overview of current research and data on trafficking in particular regions of the world. Nine of the articles focus on specific regions, and three of the articles explore issues relating to research methods. The papers, in total, give readers an opportunity to not only see the current state of research on global trafficking, but to also consider the suggestions by some authors for areas in need of more study.

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This document contains the full committee report on the Trafficking in Persons Offences Bill.

You can download this 58 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

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“Demand” is a current buzzword among some anti-trafficking activists, in which they argue that demand for sex work drives trafficking in persons, and that arresting clients who patronize sex workers will reduce the problem. However, demand for sex work is not a predominant driving factor for trafficking, which is driven by poverty, race, and gender inequities.

You can download this 1 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

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