Sex workers constitute a key population affected by HIV, with multiple factors contributing to their vulnerability. Around the world, HIV programming falls short of taking these factors into account and actively working towards their reduction. Sex workers are put at risk of exposure to HIV by criminalisation; violence; unsafe working conditions; violations of their human rights; stigma, discrimination and social marginalisation; drug and alcohol use; unequal access to appropriate health services; minimal access to HIV prevention tools (such as safe sex supplies and safer injecting equipment); barriers to negotiation of safe sex with clients; offers of higher fees for unprotected sex; and an absence of HIV-related information targeted at sex workers, due to insufficient funding for rights-based and sex worker led programming. This Briefing Paper discusses these in detail.
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This report deals with the various forms of exploitation experienced by migrant women in the labour market and how legislation designed to police immigration and prevent trafficking often fails to protect these vulnerable women. The report also examines the role of the media in objectifying migrant women through their often negative, stereotypical portrayals.
Since 2003, US government funding to address the HIV and AIDS pandemic has been subject to an anti-prostitution clause. This clause requires aid recipients to adopt an organizational policy opposing sex work and requires them to keep away from the “promotion of prostitution”. Simultaneously, the efficacy of some HIV prevention efforts for sex work in areas receiving US government funding has diminished. This article seeks to explain the unintended yet adverse effects of the implementation of the pledge through case stories.
You can download this 13 page resource as a PDF below.
The Chinese government is arbitrarily detaining sex workers through a flawed government policy purportedly aimed at education and rehabilitation, Asia Catalyst said in a new report released in December 2013.
The report documents excessive use of force by police in the detention of female sex workers, as well as the women's subsequent incarceration in the little-known "Custody and Education (C&E)" system.
This workshop, from sex worker-led organisation Respect Inc, in Queensland, Australia, is a very thorough introduction to a wide range of issues relevant to sex workers - particularly those working in Queensland, Australia, due to this resources' discussion of the legal situation there, but also for sex workers more generally in terms of issues like safer sex, negotiating boundaries, emotional well-being, and safety tips.
This is a summary of NSWP's Consensus Statement on Sex Work, Human Rights, and the Law. The Consensus Statement is issued on behalf of NSWP members and the sex workers they represent including sex workers of all genders, class, race, ethnicity, health status, age, nationality, citizenship, language, education levels, disabilities, and many other factors.
The Consensus Statement details eight fundamental rights that sex worker-led groups from around the world identify as crucial targets for their activism and advocacy. Following a global consultation with members, the NSWP Consensus Statement reaffirms NSWP ’s global advocacy platform for sex work, human rights and the law. A 12 page summary of the Consensus Statement is also available.
In this resource, UN Women respond to the anti-decriminalisation campaign by Equality Now. UN Women reaffirm that sex work is work, and that sex workers need the rights that come with full decriminalisation. They highlight and condemn attempts to conflate sex work with sexual exploitation and trafficking. They note that conflating these very different concepts leads to human rights abuses towards both sex workers and trafficked people.
The Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT) offers practical guidance on effective HIV and STI programming for sex workers.
This resource is an OSF briefing paper on the recent findings of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. It aims to highlight the Commission's findings in language that will make the information useful for activists and those advocating for sex workers' rights.
This NSWP Annual Report for 2012 will be useful for sex work organisations looking for models on which to base their own annual reports. It will also be useful to sex workers globally, and particularly sex workers who are part of NSWP's member organisations, who wish to stay informed as to NSWP's activities last year.
This resource is the NSWP's strategic plan 2013 - 2015, and as such will be useful to sex worker organisations looking for a model on which to base their own organisational strategic document. The stragetic plan will also update member organisations and sex workers about NSWP's planned focus for the next eighteen months.
APNSW's response to Equality now covers APNSW's support for the UN reports the recommend decriminalisation, and notes that Equality Now did not submit a response to the UN consultation.
The National Network of Sex Workers India responds to a new campaign to further criminalise sex workers. In their statement, they criticise the conflation of sex work with trafficking, and reiterate the NNSW-India's support of the UN's commitment to sex workers' rights.
The African Sex Worker Alliance statement in response to the attack on the UN recommendations regarding decriminalisation. ASWA state that they "stand firmly against the radical move by former sex workers and campaigners in the global north, to protest against the decriminalisation of sex workers ... [including] our partners, employees, and clients".
This resource is a briefing on why the organisation - the American Jewish World Service - fund sex worker rights organisations, but it is also a very effective introduction to the concept of sex worker rights, and the sex worker rights movement. It disccuses who sex workers are, and what is sex work, the rights of sex workers in places where sex work is illegal, and introduces a rights-based approach.
This resource looks at the Canadian legal system and hierarchy of laws from the perspective of launching a court case to protect the rights of sex workers. It discusses the Canadian law and sex workers' rights, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, limits to the Charter, and how to challenge unconstitutional laws.
This resource offers a succinct introduction to the Bedford v. Canada Supreme Court case. Bedford v. Canada challenges three anti-sex work laws in Canada which prevent sex workers from engaging in safety measures that would make their work safer. The appellants in the care are challenging the constitutionality of the communicating, brothel keeping, and living off the avails provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada. They say these laws violate their right to Life, Liberty, and Security of the Person as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This press release accompanies the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health policy briefing on transgender rights and HIV in the region. The press release details the health crisis that faces transgender people in Asia Pacific, and calls for more and better quality research and data that is transgender specific, rather than treating transgender people as a subset of MSM. It recommends strategies to tackle the stigma and marginalisation that make transgender people so vulnerable to HIV and discrimination.
This resource commences by quoting Ronald Weitzer, who notes "the management of prostitution is one of the most invisible aspects of the trade". It goes on to discuss common prohibitionist discourse around sex work, that situates all possible study on the topic on a continuum between deviance and violence, before highlighting that this limited binary is "diametrically opposed to much of the scholarly literature, and, more importantly, to what sex workers are asserting - namely, that sex work is work".