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.
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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.
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.
Mon, 5 May 2003 23:51:09 -0300 (ART)
From: "Paulo Longo" firstname.lastname@example.org
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
The European Union and its Member States generally acknowledge the positive value of international migration when it takes place in a regulated and predictable manner. They are alarmed, however, by irregular migratory movements. Indeed, in the face of the perceived threat posed by this phenomenon, States have introduced a series of measures to deter or prevent migrants from gaining unauthorised entry into their territories. The blanket enforcement of such measures makes it increasingly difficult for refugees and asylum-seekers to secure access to international protection. With this concern in mind, UNHCR must stress that the Action Plan contained in the Commission Communication on a Common Policy on Illegal Immigration and subsequently adopted by the Member States strike a proper balance between migration control priorities and refugee protection imperatives.
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.
Research for Sex Work 5: Health, HIV and Sex Work - the Influence of Migration and Mobility 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.
You can downlaod this 3 page resource above. This resource is in Portuguese.
Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights
and Human Trafficking
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights to the Economic and Social Council.
You can download this 16 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.
The Annotated Guide to the new UN Trafficking Protocol is a tool to assist advocates in the development of a human rights framework for national anti-trafficking laws and policies. In December 2000, the UN adopted international instruments to fight transnational organized crime and additional agreements or protocols to combat trafficking in persons, smuggling and firearms.
This article documents the experiences and working conditions of women who travel periodically from their countries to Istanbul to undertake sex work, and discusses the policy debates failure to address the poor living conditions of migrant sex workers by addressing abusive and restrictive immigration policies, and by decriminalising undocumented sex work.
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.