The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) submitted the following response to the UN Women consultation on "sex work, sex trade, and prostitution." In their preamble, ICRSE criticizes UN Women's lack of meaningful consultation with sex workers in the development of their policy. They remind UN Women that the UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), of which UN Women is a Co-Sponsor, already has developed a sex work policy that is founded in UN Human Rights treaties.
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The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) submitted the following letter to UN Women outlining their concerns about the lack of meaningful consultation with sex workers as they develop their policy on sex work. According to APNSW Management Team and Secretariat, UN Women have not held any major consultations with sex workers in the Asia Pacific region. They urge UN Women to organise a meaningful consultation with sex workers to ensure the policy is informed by the experiences of sex workers in the region. In addition to this letter, APNSW submitted a response to the UN Women online consultation on "sex work, sex trade, and prostitution".
Davida, in collaboration with The Prostitution Policy Watch, The Brazilian Network of Prostitutes, The Association of Warrior Women, The Group of Prostitute Women from the State of Paráb (GEMPAC), Transrevolução, and Casa Nem/PrepareNem have made a submission to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review. This submission outlines human rights violations of sex workers in Brazil.
The All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW), CREA, the Centre for Advocacy and Research, India and Lawyers Collective, and 43 sex worker-led organisations have jointly submitted this response to the UN Women consultation on sex work. They conducted three regional consultations with sex worker groups to come to consensus on principles which must be included in any policy on sex work. The participants of the consultations are calling on UN Women to ensure that the development of any policy be made through meaningful and inclusive consultation with sex workers.
NSWP has formally replied to UN Women's consultation "seeking views on UN Women approach to sex work, the sex trade and prostitution." This letter, sent to UN Women on the 21st of September, 2016, includes NSWP's responses to the three questions asked by UN Women in their online consultation. In addition to this letter, NSWP has published an online petition calling on UN Women to meaningfully include sex workers in the development of their policy on sex work. NSWP has also provided UN Women with a Draft Framework for a UN Women Human Rights Affirming Approach to Sex Work in response to UN Women E-Consultation.
Midnight Blue has published their report Cases of Arrested Transgender Sex Workers which documents the human rights abuses faced by transgender sex workers in detention. Up until June 2016, Midnight Blue has monitoried the cases of 40 transgender sex workers who were arrested in Hong Kong. Many transgender sex workers in Hong Kong are migrant sex workers, and after their detention is complete they are often deported. Midnight Blue is demanding the criminal justice system review the human rights abuses against transgender sex workers in detention in Hong Kong.
Open Society Foundation have published No Turning Back: Examining Sex Worker-Led Programs that Protect Health and Rights. Stigma, criminal laws, and punitive policing practices harm sex workers, including their health. In response, a growing number of authorities across the world have called for the decriminalisation of sex work. The six case studies in this publication—in Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, South Africa, and Zimbabwe—offer a look at sex worker–led programming that has reduced police abuse, health risks, and other adverse impacts of bad laws and law enforcement on sex workers.
Public Association Amelia, the only organisation that provides services to sex workers, has published their report Documenting Human Rights Abuse in the Republic of Kazakhstan with financial support from SWAN. The report is about sex work, violence, and HIV in Kazakhstan. It describes the violence experienced by sex workers and how this increases the vulnerability of sex workers to STIs.
Beyond Trafficking and Slavery have published a sex worker-led anthology Sex Workers Speak. Who Listens? on Open Democracy edited by Giulia Garofalo Geymonat and P.G. Macioti. This anthology addresses the violence, exploitation, abuse, and trafficking present the sex industry. It does so through the perspective of sex workers themselves. The first section is dedicated to contributions from Europe; the second section includes views from Latin America, Asia and Africa; while the third section features some of the arguments put forward by transnational organisations.
NSWP has published a draft framework for a UN Women human rights affirming approach to sex work in response to a UN women e-consultation. NSWP received an invitation from UN Women to participate in a formal e-consultation on the 7 September 2016. However, such a process is biased towards those with privilege and will exclude the majority of sex workers in the global south who have limited access to the Internet. This resource for UN Women is in addition to NSWP's online petition of UN Women available here. Please sign and share the petition!
ICRSE has published their second intersection briefing paper entitled Feminism Needs Sex Workers, Sex Workers Need Feminism: Towards a Sex-Worker Inclusive Women's Rights Movement. This briefing paper explores the intersection of feminist ideologies, women’s rights and sex workers’ rights, and the feminist ideals which are included and supported in sex work activism. It calls upon the feminist movement to consider the growing evidence in support of sex work decriminalisation, build an alliance with sex workers and their organisations, and actively support sex workers’ rights and the decriminalisation of sex work.
UTSOPI, a sex worker organisation in Brussels, have published a statement on increased legal oppression of sex work in various municipalities across the country. The statement below is about the Alhambra area of Brussels where the mayor, Yvan Mayeur, has increased the financial penalities against sex workers and clients.
STAR-STAR, a sex workers' collective in the Balkans, has published Voluntary Sex Work. They interviewed 73 sex workers in the city of Skopje. Their key research objectives were to understand sex workers' attitudes and perceptions towards voluntary sex work and the legalisation of sex work, to raise the general population's awareness about sex work, and finally, to present the advantages and disadvantages of sex work legalisation.
Asia Catalyst has published their report The Condom Quandary: A Study of the Impact of Law Enforcement Practices on Effective HIV Prevention among Male, Female, and Transgender Sex Workers in China. Asia Catalyst conducted 74 in-depth interviews with male, female, and transgender sex workers, 18 interviews with key informants, and 517 responses to a survey questionnaire. The research was conducted in three major Chinese cities. The report found that using condoms as evidence of sex work violates the human rights of sex workers.
This is the 15th issue of NSWP's quarterly newsletter ‘Sex Work Digest’, covering the period from January - July 2016.
The Women's Legal Centre has published their report on Police Abuse of Sex Workers in South Africa. The Women's Legal Centre is an organisation working to ensure that women in South Afica can live free from violence in safe housing, are free to own property, are empowered to ensure their own reporductive health rights, and are able to work in a safe and equal environment. Their report shows that 414 sex workers reported various types of violence perpetrated by police between 2011 and 2015.
NSWP, the African Sex Workers Alliance, Sisonke, and SWEAT are proud to invite sex workers to the sex worker networking zone at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. For a full schedule, please see below or download the schedule as a PDF.
The Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) has published their report Using CEDAW to Advocate for Sex Workers' Rights in Central Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This booklet is aimed at sex workers, sex worker groups, organisations working with sex workers, women’s groups, drug users’ groups, LGBT groups, human rights organisations and other allies who want to know more about advancing recognition for sex workers’ rights through the United Nations human rights bodies, and in particular, through the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
The National Empowerment Network for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK), the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA), the Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP) and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) have published their report Speaking Out: Personal Testimonies of Rights Violations Experienced by Sex Workers in Kenya. This report focuses on human rights violations among female sex workers living with HIV. It is based on a literature review and interviews conducted in May 2014 among 30 sex workers living with HIV in six counties: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Machakos, Kisumu, and Busia.
Asia Catalyst has published their report First Do No Harm: Discrimination in Health Care Settings against People Living with HIV in Cambodia, China, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. This research is based on 202 interviews conducted by 8 community organisations including NSWP member Aye Myanmar Association (AMA). It documents the discriminatory practices faced by people living with HIV in health care settings, and also provides examples of what rights-based health care looks like.