Resources

Meena Seshu speaks out against India's Immoral Trafficking Prevention Amendment

Across histories and cultures, people in prostitution and sex work have historically been cast as social deviants. With the arrival of HIV and AIDS, they have been further stigmatized, as carriers and transmitters of the disease, and have been excluded from policy decisions that threaten their health and well-being.

Next month, the Parliament of India will vote on an amendment to India's 2006 Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Amendment Bill that will further stigmatize and violate the human rights of sex workers by criminalizing the purchase of sexual services in India.

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National Day of Action against India's Immoral Trafficking Prevention Amendment

Bangalore

July 1, 2008

The Karnataka State Coalition Against ITPA (Constituent Organizations: Aneka, Ashodaya Samithi, Jyothi Mahila Sangha, Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Karnataka Sexworkers Union, LesBiT, Samara, Sangama, Sangram, Suraksha, Swathi Mahila Sangha, Veshya Anyay Mukthi Parishad, Vijaya Mahila Sangha) urges the government of India to:

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The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers wrote this letter against the funding of International Justice Mission (IJM) for a pilot project to 'rescue' sex workers in Asia. The project coordinates with local police during brothel raids where sex workers are forcibly removed and detained illegally. The Global Network of Sex Work Projects condemns these violations of sex workers' rights, and has demanded that the Gates Foundation immediately cease funding these human rights abuses by the International Justice Mission.

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PONY Statement on Demand

Submitted to the Beijing +10 Fourth World Conference on Women by Prostitutes of New York

Written by Jo Doezema and Melissa Ditmore

Prostitutes of New York is an organization of many kinds of workers in New York City's sex industry. PONY is a member of the international Network of Sex Work Projects, which advocates for the rights of sex workers around the world. Two keywords have arisen in anti-sex work anti-trafficking advocacy: "demand" and "dignity."

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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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Action against police violation of human rights in Hong Kong

Zi Teng

On Wednesday the 15 of June the Hong Kong public saw flashed across the Chinese language press, and on the 16 of June the SCMP, photos of a group of " 40 mainland women suspected of prostitution" rounded up , interned in a crowded (14 square metre) "cage", in much the same way as animals would be. This was in public view and for a period of 13 hours as reported in the article. The photos in both presses depict the women lying on the bare ground, without visible toilet facilities, privacy or food while male polices officers stand by. The image is poignant being one of powerlessness, vulnerability and visible shame, and voyeurism.

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Abuses against sex workers and erosions of HIV prevention efforts resulting from anti-trafficking initiatives

The following is direct testimony from a Pondicherry-based NGO, Society for Development, Research & Training (SFDRT) describing exactly how anti-trafficking programmes are rolling out IN PRACTICE. Whatever the theory of anti-trafficking, UNAIDS, ILO, UNDP, USAID and others must see that in practice anti-trafficking initiatives are a direct threat to sexual health programmes and to the human rights of sex workers and migrants. – November, 2002.

It is indeed an additional burden to work with HIV/AIDS preventive programme with that of trafficking issues but at the same time it is quite evident that those of whom are working on STD/HIV/AIDS are the best to work on anti-trafficking issues too. With an example sited below where in the staff of SFDRT with four other NGOs were invited by the top officials of the police dept. in Pondicherry for a topic on anti-trafficking and NGOs support.

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The report Sexuality and Development: Brazilian National Response to HIV/AIDS amongst Sex Workers presents the main findings of a case study conducted during 2008-2009 by The Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA), which is one component of a global research initiative sponsored by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) “Sexuality and Development” Program.

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This report focuses on indoor sex work primarily because, while these sex workers are largely invisible, they face many of the same problems as the more visible street-based prostitutes. The stereotypes of indoor sex workers encompass only extremes of either wealth and glamour or coercion and violence. The true picture reveals a more nuanced reality—the majority of indoor sex workers in this study live surprisingly precarious lives, and encounter a high level of exactly the same problems faced by street-based sex workers, including violence, constant fear of police interference, and a lack of substantive support services. Finding concrete and reality-based solutions to the needs of this invisible, vulnerable, and marginalised community is imperative to helping them create safe and stable lives.

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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.

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This report provides baseline information on the sex industry prior to the passage of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 (the Act) in New Zealand. It will assist the Committee evaluate the extent to which the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 (the Act) is meeting its purpose.

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This booklet explains how Canada’s criminal laws related to prostitution affect the health and the human rights of sex workers. It recommends changes to those laws to improve the lives of sex workers. This booklet is based on the report Sex, work, rights: reforming Canadian criminal laws on prostitution (click for more information and to download the 124 page report), published in 2005 by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

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The RighT Guide is a tool to assess the human rights impacts of anti-trafficking policies. The tool was created by both sex worker-led organisations and allies. The aim of the toolkit is to provide NGOs and other organisations with a tool they can use to assess the consequences of anti-trafficking policies on the human rights of the people most affect by these policies, such as sex workers. The tool provides the step-by-step process to study the impact of anti-trafficking policies, which then provides evidence-based research for advocacy against these policies.

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This document includes 15 factsheets that answer questions and define terms used in the RighT Guide: A Tool to Assess the Human Rights Impact of Anti-trafficking Policies. The tool was created by both sex worker-led organisations and allies. The aim of the toolkit is to provide NGOs and other organisations with a tool they can use to assess the consequences of anti-trafficking policies on the human rights of the people most affect by these policies, such as sex workers. These factsheets should be used with the RighT Guide to answer questions that readers may have.

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This is a formal letter of request that the Ontario Human Rights Commission conduct a public inquiry into discrimination against Ottawa-area sex workers by the Ottawa Police Service.

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This is a leaflet on safety at work made for sex workers by sex workers and organisations from five EU countries. The leaflet is available in Bulgarian, English, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The leaflet targets sex workers working in hotels, apartments, brothels, clubs, bars, massage parlours, saunas, sex shops, and other indoor venues. The leaflet is the result of our local experiences. It presents advice and tips related to safety at work, and information on sex work legislation in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal.

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This is a leaflet on safety at work made for sex workers by sex workers and organisations from five EU countries. The leaflet is available in Bulgarian, English, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The leaflet targets sex workers working in hotels, apartments, brothels, clubs, bars, massage parlours, saunas, sex shops, and other indoor venues. The leaflet is the result of our local experiences. It presents advice and tips related to safety at work, and information on sex work legislation in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal.

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This is a leaflet on safety at work made for sex workers by sex workers and organisations from five EU countries. The leaflet is available in Bulgarian, English, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The leaflet targets sex workers working in hotels, apartments, brothels, clubs, bars, massage parlours, saunas, sex shops, and other indoor venues. The leaflet is the result of our local experiences. It presents advice and tips related to safety at work, and information on sex work legislation in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal.

Download this resource:

This is a leaflet on safety at work made for sex workers by sex workers and organisations from five EU countries. The leaflet is available in Bulgarian, English, French, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. The leaflet targets sex workers working in hotels, apartments, brothels, clubs, bars, massage parlours, saunas, sex shops, and other indoor venues. The leaflet is the result of our local experiences. It presents advice and tips related to safety at work, and information on sex work legislation in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal.

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This community-based report by POWER discusses the challenges faced by sex workers in Ottawa and Gatineau in Ontario, Canada. They interviewed 43 adult sex workers including male, female, and transgender sex workers and used this research to guide their advocacy efforts. The report outlines, in detail, the context of sex worker in Ottawa and Gatineau, the labour site challenges faced by sex workers, stigma, discrimination, and violence against sex workers in the region.

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