Resources

This case study is the third of five case studies that will be published on a yearly basis from 2016-2020. These case studies will monitor and document the impact of international guidelines and policies on sex work that NSWP and NSWP members have helped develop. NSWP will also monitor how members use these international guidelines in local, national and regional advocacy efforts. Examples of international guidelines include the Amnesty International Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers, the Sex Worker Implementation Tool, and the development of the UN Women policy on sex work.

Legislation around sex work can be extremely complex; different legal models exist in different countries and sometimes even within countries. NSWP published a mapping of national legislation used to regulate and criminalise sex work in 208 countries and dependencies, with sub-national legislation included for some countries.

NSWP facilitated a delegation from member organisations to attend the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). This delegation aimed to amplify the voices of sex workers’ rights advocates in a space where fundamental feminists and abolitionist groups often dominate discussions about sex work, which do not reflect the diversity of sex workers’ lived experiences and realities. In this context, the conflation of trafficking and sex work is used to promote policies that undermine the rights of sex workers.

Download this resource: NSWP at CSW63, NSWP - 2019

Fuckförbundet launched a new report - "20 Years Of Failing Sex Workers" - as part of their 2019 conference "Sex Work, Human Rights And Health: Assessing 20 Years Of Swedish Model". It brings together available evidence from sex workers on the impact of the law. Contents include:

Human Rights Watch and the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) have released a new report recommending the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa, in order to protect the safety and wellbeing of women, and respond to the HIV pandemic.

This shadow report was submitted by Congolese sex worker-led organisations UMANDE and ACODHU-TS during the 73rd CEDAW Session, which took place June-July 2019.

Sisonke-Botswana and Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV and AIDS (BONELA) submitted this shadow report during the 72nd CEDAW Session, which took place February-March 2019. The report elaborates on the situation of cisgender and transgender women who are sex workers in Botswana. The report focuses the criminalisation of sex work; violence, abuse, and failure to act on reports of violence by police; stigma and discrimination faced by sex workers in accessing health services, and lack of free antiretrovirals for migrants.

In February 2016, following pressure from fundamental feminist and abolitionist organisations, the Serbian government criminalised the purchase of sexual services through amendments to the Public Law and Order Act. Sex workers were ignored during discussion that preceded the adoption of the law. Selling sex remains criminalised. Criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services in Serbia has increased sex workers’ vulnerability to violence and marginalisation and reduced their access to services. Police continue to perpetrate violence against, extort money from, and ignore reports of violence against sex workers. Fundamental feminist and abolitionist discourse has increased the exclusion of sex workers from the women’s and LGBT organisations in the country.

STOPAIDS has published a new position paper supporting the decriminalisation of sex work, designed to support STOPAIDS members to advocate for decriminalisation within their own advocacy and programmes, and support the global sex worker rights movement.

This Briefing Note outlines the problems with the conflation of the term 'sexual exploitation' with sex work, and how this exacerbates harms to sex workers. 

To mark International Sex Workers' Day on 2nd June, SWAN published a new briefing paper on Sex Work Legal Frameworks in Central-Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA).

Amnesty International has released a new report highlighting the routine use of rape, violence and torture by police to punish women sex workers in the Dominican Republic. The report - ‘If they can have her, why can’t we?’ - uses testimony from 46 Dominican cisgender and transgender women sex workers, and reports them suffering various forms of violence at the hands of police.

This Briefing Note outlines the key areas within social protection systems that must be addressed in order to meet the needs of sex workers.

The Network of Sex Work Projects held a meeting in Rio de Janeiro, 16-19 July.

The meeting had two goals:

  • To identify priority issues for global advocacy, and
  • To review the role and structure of the NSWP and make recommendations about ways to improve or reform it.
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UN Member States convened to undertake a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in realising the targets set out in the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS at the 2006 UNGASS Review Meeting.

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Over 2006, a number of activities were conducted and reports followed. These are some of the activities the Network of Sex Work Projects participated in during 2006, along with links to some of the reports.

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The Network of Sex Work Projects held a meeting in Rio de Janeiro, 16-19 July 2006.

The meeting had two goals:

  • To identify priority issues for global advocacy, and
  • To review the role and structure of the NSWP and make recommendations about ways to improve or reform it.
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The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers wrote this letter against the funding of International Justice Mission (IJM) for a pilot project to 'rescue' sex workers in Asia. The project coordinates with local police during brothel raids where sex workers are forcibly removed and detained illegally. The Global Network of Sex Work Projects condemns these violations of sex workers' rights, and has demanded that the Gates Foundation immediately cease funding these human rights abuses by the International Justice Mission.

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Fostering Enabling Legal and Policy Environments to Protect the Health and Rights of Sex Workers

Johannesburg, South Africa, June 22-24, 2006

Organised and sponsored by the Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP) and Law and Health Initiative (LAHI) of Open Society Institute (OSI), this meeting brought together sex workers, service providers, human rights advocates, researchers and others to discuss how legal and regulatory environments affect sex workers' health and human rights.

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