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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The Know it, Prove it, Change it toolkit helps grassroots organisations in communities affected by HIV/AIDS to understand their basic rights, document rights abuses, and design and implement advocacy campaigns. T

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Silence on Violence: Improving Safety of Women - the policing of off-street sex work and trafficking in London

This report was written in the run-up to the Olympic Games, held in London 2012 and it considers two overacrhing areas related to womens' safety within sex work: the policing of sex trafficking, and within that the policing for the Olymipics; and the general policing of sex workers. The report focusses on off-street sex work as the evidence shows that it very rarely, if at all, involves trafficked women.

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The 20th bulletin of the DMSC, discussing common financial scams, police violence, and the work done by the All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) to tackle HIV, human rights violations by the police, and the stigma that prevents sex workers from accessing services.

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The article explores the policy underpinning Sweden’s 1999 ban on the purchase of sexual services in the context of the social and health service sectors and the way that these sectors interact with sex workers. It argues that the rationale behind the sex purchase ban is difficult to reconcile with social policy outwith the 'merits' of criminal justice.

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This article offers a historical account and critical assessment of the prostitution-reform debates’ considerable influence on anti-trafficking law and policy development over the last decade. The article exposes the difficulties of translating anti-prostitution ideology, borne out of closely held moral and ethical beliefs, into effective governance strategies.

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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.

Sex workers from KESWA and ASWA in Nairobi staged a protest marking International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers on 17th December.  Thousands of sex workers joined with gay activists and organisations to condemn the ‘Kill the Gay, Uganda Bill’ and marched on City Hall. 

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This is NSWP's response to the consultation carried out in Scotland (UK) on the Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex.  

This proposal would make it illegal to purchase sex in Scotland. Rhoda Grant MSP, who carried out the consultation, believes that ‘prostitution in Scotland is a form of sexual violence against women and sexual exploitation.’  She believes that ‘prostitution is inherently harmful and dehumanising’ and that ‘the majority of those who are involved in prostitution are unwilling participants.’

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

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This is the first in an occasional series of papers that will be produced covering a variety of topics. This series will try to provide a global overview for activists, highlighting examples of good practice developed by member organisations and sex worker-led groups across the regions.

This paper is intended to be a ‘living document’ which will be added to as we document further examples from our global membership.

The topic of this first paper is 'Addressing Violence Against Sex Workers' and highlights 12 country examples of interventions to address violence.

You can download this 9 page PDF file above.  This resource is in English.

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The Sex Worker Freedom Festival (SWFF) was an alternative International AIDS Conference 2012 event for sex workers and allies held in Kolkata in India from 21 to 26 July 2012.  SWFF was an official International AIDS Conference 2012 Hub. Supported by Open Society Foundation – Sexual Health and Rights Program, American Jewish World Service (AJWS), UNAIDS, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNFPA, HIVOS, AIDS Fonds and AIDS 2012 conference secretariat.  

Solidarity Is Not a Crime

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 programme of the groundbreaking Sex Worker Freedom Festival, organised by the Global Network in response to the exclusion of sex workers from the 2012 International AIDS Conference in washing D.C.

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You can download this 3 page .doc resource above. This resource is in English.

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Useful information for attendees of the Sex Worker Freedom Festival: the alternative International AIDS Conference 2012 event, Kolkata, India.  21 to 26 July 2012.

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PROS Network (Providers and Resources Offering Services to sex workers) participated in two studies in New York around the impact of policies that use of condoms as ‘evidence of prostitution’. This report written by the PROS Network and Leigh Tomppert of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, which was funded by Open Society Foundation and the Elton John Foundation, compares the findings of the two studies.

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The Law and Sexworker Health (LASH) team at the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales were funded by the NSW Ministry of Health to better inform policy considerations, and the National Health and Medical Research Council to investigate if the various approaches across Australian jurisdictions were associated with different health and welfare outcomes for sex workers.

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In 1999, the Swedish government embarked on an experiment in social engineering to end men’s practice of purchasing commercial sexual services. The government enacted a new law criminalising 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.

Download this resource: