Empower Foundation is a Thai organisation since 1985. Empower promotes opportunities for women workers in the entertainment industry. Empower strives to promote these opportunities and rights to all women workers regardless of their country of origin.
United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 58th Session, 18 March – 26 April 2002
Items 14 and 15 of the agenda.
In the spring issue of Soundings the author compares lived experience to the representations of trafficking presented by major media and government agencies. The evidence presented is a deconstruction the way that the discourse on sex work and trafficking is shaped.
UNAIDS called a meeting at the Barcelona Aids Conference in July 2002 of program planners, researchers, field workers and activists to begin discussing its work on HIV care and prevention among sex workers and clients. For the NSWP this was an important opportunity to ensure that UNAIDS is aware of the NSWP's concerns about programs that sex workers see as ineffective and/or as contributing to the abuse of sex workers. The meeting was preceded by NSWP demonstrations that drew attention to the negative impact on sex workers' human rights of anti-trafficking and public health measures such as mandatory registration and examination of sex workers that are increasingly being promoted as effective approaches to HIV prevention.
100% Condom Use Policy (CUP) programmes that aim to reduce HIV among female sex workers are being implemented or planned in several countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. As a result of claims made about the role of 100% CUP in reducing national HIV epidemics, UNAIDS and other key agencies promote the programmes as a "best practice". The NSWP has a different view of the theory and practice of 100% CUP. Our view is based on ethical analysis and on real evidence from the field.
Social justice activists internationally have hailed as progressive and humane the 1998 report The Sex Sector: The Economic and Social Bases of Prostitution in Southeast Asia. Edited by Lin Lean Lim of the International Labour Office in Geneva, the book recommends that the sex industry be included in official government accountings, first, because of its enormous contributions to regional economies, and second, as the only way to improve the situation of those employed as sex workers. With a recognised sex sector, governments would be required to extend labour rights and protections to people who work in it. At the same time, the report unequivocally demands the eradication of child prostitution as a serious human rights violation and an intolerable form of child labour.
A Prostitutes of New York (PONY) member reports on a visit from Subhash Thottiparambil, a sex worker rights advocate from Kerala, India.
Mon, 5 May 2003 23:51:09 -0300 (ART)
From: "Paulo Longo" email@example.com
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Letter to the editor
Donna Hughes (May 1, 2003, Accommodation or Abolition? Solutions to the problem of sexual trafficking and slavery) grossly misrepresents the international Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP). Her assertions are risible. The NSWP actively works against trafficking in persons, especially children, and lobbied for the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in 2001. The NSWP also works against the violation of civil liberties in the so-called 100% Condom Use Policy programmes, which are dangerously coercive and include forced physical examinations in unsterile and disease-promoting conditions.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Recent changes to HIV funding in the US (HR 1298)
The US Senate approved a new international HIV/AIDS funding bill for approximately $15 billion on Thursday May 15, 2003 (Senate Resolution HR 1298, United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003). The Senate Bill is almost identical to its predecessor in the US House of Representatives and passed through the Senate unusually quickly, preventing debate about the content of the initiative that will triple HIV funding from the US to projects worldwide.
On May 21, the US House gave the final congressional approval to a bill that provides funding for a five-year US$15bn plan to fight HIV/Aids around the world. The bill now proceeds to President Bush for his signature. It is expected that he will urge other states at the G8 meeting early next month to follow the US lead in committing significant funds to fighting HIV/AIDS.
Thursday, September 11, 2003
Transgendered sex workers deserve dignity and rights
WASHINGTON, DC — The Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) would like express its condolences to the families and friends of two transgendered women, Bella Evangelista and Emonie Spaulding, who were murdered in separate incidents in Washington DC during the past week. Furthermore, the NSWP sends out our hope for the recovery of Ms Punana Walker who was critically injured on August 20, 2003.
A REPORT BY EMPOWER CHIANG MAI ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS WOMEN ARE SUBJECTED TO WHEN “RESCUED” BY ANTI-TRAFFICKING GROUPS WHO EMPLOY METHODS USING DECEPTION, FORCE AND COERCION.
This study reviewed the condom utilization rates among female sex workers in Thailand, and determined that the rates of use fall far below the 100% Condom Usage rates advocated by the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.
This report examines the impact of law enforcement approaches to street-based sex work in New York City and proposes a series of policy and practice recommendations for reform based on the researchers’ analyses of the data collected. This report also seeks to promote reasoned, fact-based, and informed debate regarding street-based prostitution in New York City. Public discussion of this issue usually occurs in flashy headlines that are meant to titillate rather than to explore the consequences of policy decisions in depth. This is a special effort to give voice to the problems faced by street-based sex workers, using their own words, since this is a voice that is almost always left out of policy debates.
Research for Sex Work 6: Sex Work and Human Rights 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.
Este trabalho é um relato da experiência vivenciada, juntamente às mulheres trabalhadoras do sexo de duas casas noturnas de São Carlos, durante a realização de uma atividade de extensão. Nessa atividade de extensão procurei discutir questões ligadas aos direitos humanos, aos direitos da mulher e questões de gênero. No primeiro item desse relatório Repensando o papel feminino, apresento o referencial teórico que utilizei para estudar a temática dos direitos humanos e das relações de gênero e para dar sustentação ao planejamento das atividades realizadas durante os encontros.
Em 1998, no Departamento de Metodologia de Ensino da Universidade Federal de São Carlos, um projeto com o título genérico de “Prevenção e Saúde” retomava um trabalho realizado em 1991 junto à profissionais do sexo de uma casa noturna de São Carlos. Comemoramos, neste ano de 2003, 5 anos de atividades. Como coordenadora do projeto e do grupo, retomo aqui, de forma bastante resumida, a história desse grupo, os resultados alcançados e os desafios que a ele se colocam.
You can downlaod this 3 page resource above. This resource is in Portuguese.
Innocence and Purity Vs. Deviance and Immorality: The Spaces of Prostitution in Nepal and Canada
This paper adopts a critical feminist analysis in examining the way in which social and physical spaces operate to maintain race, class, and gender hierarchies in relation to prostitution. Critiquing the dominant anti-trafficking discourse that essentialises all 'third world" women as victims, the author problematises the construction of Badi women in Western Nepal as 'traditional prostitutes' and Aboriginal women in Canada as 'easy squaws'. This analysis demonstrates how in reproducing false divisions between 'virgins' and 'whores', and between the 'first' and 'third' worlds, material, symbolic, and discursive processes work to normalise unequal relations of power.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 has been presented as an important tool in combatting the exploitation and abuse of undocumented workers, especially those forced into prostitution. Through a close reading of the legislation and the debates surrounding its passage, this article argues that the law makes strategic use of anxieties over sexuality, gender, and immigration to further curtail migration.