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.

The aim of this European report is to provide transparency about the legislation on sex work throughout Europe and its impact on the human rights of sex workers, including their access to public health services. The report assesses legislation and policy developments on sex work, migration and health policies on a national and European level and includes a critical evaluation of the various approaches relating to the interrelated issues of sex work, migration and health.

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This manual has three main objectives: to present examples of good practice for health and social service providers offering care for migrant and mobile sex workers working in both indoor and outdoor settings, to present examples of different experiences of HIV/STI prevention strategies, as well as introducing and facilitating implementation of innovative tools for specific outreach methodology, peer education, campaigns for clients and advocacy campaigns, to increase and expand good practice actions targeting sex worker and their clients.

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This report aims to identify trends and tendencies in relation to the changing patterns of sex work and the living and working conditions of female and transgender sex workers within Europe, with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and programming. The report also focuses on work migration patterns within the European Union (EU), and how the expansion of the EU is affecting sex workers. The various annexes provide additional information that may be relevant to sex workers interested in learning about the structure of TAMPEP, the questionnaire they used to asses each country, their recommendations, and the individual national reports.

This report summarises the findings of a human rights project conducted by the Sex Workers Project in 2007 and 2008 to explore the impacts and effectiveness of  anti-trafficking approaches in the United States. These approaches include anti-trafficking raids and vice raids targeting sex work conducted by local law enforcement agencies in different cities. It is among the first efforts since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to give voice to the perspectives of trafficked persons and sex workers who have experienced anti-trafficking raids. A total of 46 people were interviewed for the report.

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The criminalisation of sex work in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa leaves sex workers vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse, as well as extortion, from law enforcement officers such as police and border guards. Human rights violations and a lack of safe and supportive working conditions render sex workers particularly vulnerable to HIV. These are some of the findings of this report on the health and rights challenges confronted by female, male, and transgender sex workers in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.

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This is the English version of the Note for Record of the November 2009 UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work

This document details the events of the group meeting, including:

This list of discussion points was prepared for use during a meeting with Michel Sidibe, and include communication of general principles of collaboration as well as recommendations for the creation of an UNAIDS working group on HIV & sex work be created, that HIV prevention & care among sex workers be re-categorized away from the violence against women priority area, and that changes in how sex work is addressed be considered.

This letter was sent to Michel Sidibe to request a meeting to address concerns about the Guidance Note on HIV and Sex Work, as well as to build collaboration and address the need for a working group specifically for HIV and Sex Work.