Resources

On December 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a landmark decision that substantially reshaped Canada’s legal framework regarding adult sex work. The case of Bedford v. Canada resulted in the striking down of three provisions of the Criminal Code: the communication, bawdy-house and living on the avails laws. The Court found that these three provisions violate section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) given their negative impact on sex workers’ security of the person.

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A number of people are excluded from the process and benefits of development because of their sexuality. Policies designed to lift people out of poverty, to provide employment and access to crucial services, all too often exclude those who do not conform to ‘normal’ sexual or gender identities. In many countries, this exclusion is also enforced through law.

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One of the initial advocacy priorities identified by NSWP+ (a platform for positive sex workers and others committed to equal rights for sex workers living with HIV) was treatment access and joining the campaign against trade related restrictions and patents used by large pharmaceutical companies to make huge profits from essential medicines. Sex workers identified the need for accessible information on the trade frameworks that impact upon access to medicines for people living with HIV.

This resource is a note by NSWP members Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP) and SANGRAM. It summarizes the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women in India with regards to her observations made in relation to sex worker rights in India. It highlights that the Special Rapporteur called on the Indian Government to review the problematic ITPA (Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act) legislation which criminalizes women in sex work and to take measures to protect the human rights of sex workers.

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The present Report has been issued by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences as a result of her official visit to India from 22 April to 1 May 2013. Violence against women in India is systematic and occurs in the public and private spheres. It is underpinned by the persistence of patriarchal social norms and inter- and intragender hierarchies.

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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.

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This Report aims to summarize the arguments for and against the criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services. It first describes the experiences of Swedish and Dutch legal regulation relating to the purchase of sexual services. In Sweden, there is a wish to abolish sex work by way of criminalising the client. In the Netherlands, sex work is allowed within certain limits (only involuntary sex work comes under criminal rules).

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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.

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The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) have released a statement strongly condemning the recent EU Parliament vote on the flawed report prepared by MEP Mary Honeyball.

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NSWP has released a statement in relation to the arrest of Alejandra Gil.

From our understanding of the situation, the charges in question emanate from new legislation, which in our view conflates sex work with human trafficking. 

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The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) has spearheaded a campaign to critically review the draft report by MEP Mary Honeyball which proposes the criminalisation of clients based on factually incorrect and misleading information. Ninety-four academics have signed this letter of critique.

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The summary discussion looks at highlights and activities that have advanced The Commission’s recommendations. The report has been widely disseminated at the national level to key policy makers with a view to persuade decision makers to promote a favourable legal framework to respond to HIV. Concrete changes in legal framework changes (in relation to sex workers and other key populations) as recommended by The Commission are however, not reported.

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NSWP statement in response to the decision by The European Parliament Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee's to support proposals to criminalise the clients of sex workers.

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World Report 2014 is Human Rights Watch’s 24th annual review of human rights practices around the globe. It summarises key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide, drawing on events through November 2013.

The report touches on sex work and reiterates Human Rights Watch's support for the decriminalisation of sex work.

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Silence on Violence: Improving Safety of Women - the policing of off-street sex work and trafficking in London

This report was written in the run-up to the Olympic Games, held in London 2012 and it considers two overacrhing areas related to womens' safety within sex work: the policing of sex trafficking, and within that the policing for the Olymipics; and the general policing of sex workers. The report focusses on off-street sex work as the evidence shows that it very rarely, if at all, involves trafficked women.

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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.

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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.

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This NSWP Statement responds to attempts to criminalise the purchase of sex in France. We condemn these proposals which are ideologically driven rather than evidence-based, and incorrectly view sex work through the prism of ‘violence against women’ whilst also irresponsibly conflating trafficking with sex work.

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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.