Resources

Anti-rights movements pose numerous threats to sex workers, with their diverse ideologies, aims, and emerging alliances. These threats must be better understood to promote sex workers’ rights.

This resource is a Community Guide to the Briefing Paper: The Impacts of Anti-Rights Movements on Sex Workers. It provides an overview of the full Briefing Paper, and provides key recommendations for respecting and protecting sex workers’ human rights.

In recent years, movements organised against the rights of marginalised and criminalised groups have grown in influence and impact around the globe. Anti-migrants’ rights groups have lobbied for more restrictive border policies, in violation of the right to move and migrate. Anti-sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and anti-LGBT groups have pushed back access to sexual and reproductive services and gender-affirming care for women, trans, and gender-diverse people, in violation of the right to health.

Sex workers were among the hardest hit at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to be impacted by this global public health crisis. The challenges that sex workers faced before COVID-19, as a result of criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, were all exacerbated by the pandemic.

Legislation around sex work can be extremely complex and different legal models exist in different countries, and sometimes even within countries. While understanding the written laws and regulations is important, it does not provide a complete picture of the impact of sex work laws on the lives of sex workers. To understand this, it is essential to understand how the laws are interpreted, enforced, and implemented on the ground.

NSWP have written an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Government of Spain, and the leaders of all political parties in the Congress of Deputies regarding the legislative proposals to amend the Spanish Penal Code and introduce new provisions regarding sex work. The proposed reforms include amending the Penal Code to extend the punishment of third parties to include non-coercive relationships and decouple it from exploitation and consent, violating sex workers’ right to housing and the security of sex workers, many of whom live and work in the same place.

Download this resource: NSWP Open Letter, NSWP - 2022

Sex workers worldwide are overwhelmingly excluded from social protection schemes and government emergency responses put in place for other workers. Criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, and the failure to recognise sex work as work compound sex workers’ exclusion and foster economic insecurity. Sex work must be recognised as work and all aspects decriminalised to ensure that sex workers can access the same social protections, emergency financial support, and labour rights as all other workers.

This infographic summarises the Briefing Paper on Sex Workers’ Lack of Access to Justice.

Sex workers around the world face a wide range of barriers to accessing justice, both as victims of crime and when charged with crimes. Since sex work is widely criminalised, most sex workers are denied access to the benefits and rights afforded to other workers under labour laws and face the risk of criminalisation, detention, deportation and legal sanction.

This report from Amnesty International, based on in-depth interviews with sex workers, experts and representatives of the Irish authorities, provides insights into sex workers’ human rights in Ireland, in particular their right to safety and freedom from violence. It shows that criminalisation of aspects of sex work in Ireland has a “chilling effect” on sex workers’ exercise of their human rights, for instance by preventing them from working together in one apartment for safety.

Sex Workers' Rights Statement from the International Seminar of Sex Workers in Asia and Pacific — Bangkok, Thailand, November 15-19, 2000

Dear friends:

The International Seminar of Sex Workers in Asia and Pacific which was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 15-19 November, 2000 has ended with a great success and full support from our friends all over the world.

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The Government is committed to enhancing the contribution of research to health and social care, and to the partnership between services and science. Research is essential to the successful promotion and protection of health and well-being and to modern and effective health and social care services. At the same time, research can involve an element of risk, both in terms of return on investment and sometimes for the safety and well-being of the research participants. Proper governance of research is therefore essential to ensure that the public can have confidence in, and benefit from, quality research in health and social care. The public has a right to expect high scientific, ethical and financial standards, transparent decision-making processes, clear allocation of responsibilities and robust monitoring arrangements.

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Research for Sex Work 3: Empowerment 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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Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, on trafficking in women, women's migration and violence against women, submitted in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/44.

You can download this 38 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.

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The global flow of money, goods, culture and ideas has been accompanied by a global flow of people. Yet, with increasing migration levels, also various exploitative and abusive forms of migration have become more prevalent. Attention for the topic of trafficking in migrants has found so far most resonance within human rights organizations, numerous non-governmental and international organizations, bodies and lobby networks, as well as in sensationalist media.

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