Resources

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.

The Global Alliance Against the Trafficking in Women's anthology 'Collateral Damage' reviews the experience of eight specific countries (Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Brazil, India, Nigeria, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States). The report attempts to assess what the impact  of anti-trafficking measures have been for a variety of people living and working there, or migrating into or out of these

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Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center - Shadow CEDAW report submitted to the 39th Session of CEDAW in 2007.

You can download this 13 page PDF report above.

This resource is in English.

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Date: June 25

UNAIDS PCB met in Geneva on June 25, 2007 and the APNSW spearheaded efforts with NGOs to demonstrate the ways that the proposed UNAIDS Guidance on Sex Work violated UN human rights documents.

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Bar girls are being evicted by Shiv Sena with the support of the State

Date: June 07, 2007

Varsha Kale (President - WPI) writes:

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Labour standards and occupational health and safety have been the rights of Canadian Workers for over 100 years. The sex industry and its workers have however never enjoyed the privileges of being acknowledged for providing a safe work space or been able to complain about dangerous conditions. This has forced the system at large to impose what it believes is right for sex industry workers with disastrous results for decades in the BC/Yukon region. The need for a community based process through which the sex industry can govern itself and have input to its future and stability has never been more urgent.

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The BC Coalition of Experiential Women was funded to explore working conditions of off street municipally licensed massage parlors and escort agencies. A series of three focus groups were conducted with individuals employed in these venues as well as those who work primarily on street. This report presents the findings of these interviews.

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“The Challenge of Change,” the December 2006 report of the House of Commons Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, was aptly named — the Subcommittee failed to meet the challenge of recommending legislative changes that are urgently needed to protect and fulfil the health, safety and human rights of adult sex workers in Canada.This paper critiques the Subcommittee’s report in detail. It also summarises the Legal Network’s analysis of the criminal law’s impact on sex workers and calls on federal politicians to show real leadership by standing up for the human rights of sex workers in Canada.

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This resource looks at Raymond's 'ten reasons' and discusses why each reason is poorly thought out, or missing crucial information.

You can download this seven page PDF resource above.

This resource is in English.

This letter was sent to Peter Piot to raise concerns about the language and focus of the 2007 UNAIDS Guidance Note: HIV and Sex Work. In particular, it raises concerns about the emphasis on reducing commercial sex rather than HIV, and:

This Guidance Note addresses the urgent need to provide and increase access to HIV programming for sex workers of all genders, HIV positive or negative. The Millennium Development Goals such as girls education, gender equality and poverty reduction, form the background contextual setting for this document. This Guidance Note will assist UN agencies and UNAIDS country programmes to develop sex work and HIV policy and services that are in line with governments commitments to improve their response to HIV/ AIDS, and with the ultimate objective of moving towards Universal Access to comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.

This Guidance Note has been developed to provide a unified approach by the UNAIDS Cosponsoring agencies to the reduction of HIV vulnerabilities in the context of sex work, where sex workers are defined as adults, 18 years and over. Its specific focus is the urgent need to provide access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for all sex workers, and to provide life choices and occupational alternatives to sex work, including for sex workers living with HIV.