Resources

Today marks the 13th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. For thirteen years, sex workers have used this day to highlight the need for action to end violence against sex workers.

The issues faced by sex workers vary from region to region. These differences are due to different laws, social and cultural contexts, but one common issue faced by all sex workers is their vulnerability to and experience of violence.

This global statement draws attention to the fact that all sex workers are vulnerable to violence because of the criminalisation and legal oppression of sex work, stigma, and discrimination. This vulnerability to violence is increased for sex workers living with HIV, sex workers who use drugs, transgender sex workers, migrant sex workers, and sex workers that are part of other marginalised groups.

Theme: Violence

Midnight Blue has published their report Cases of Arrested Transgender Sex Workers which documents the human rights abuses faced by transgender sex workers in detention. Up until June 2016, Midnight Blue has monitoried the cases of 40 transgender sex workers who were arrested in Hong Kong. Many transgender sex workers in Hong Kong are migrant sex workers, and after their detention is complete they are often deported. Midnight Blue is demanding the criminal justice system review the human rights abuses against transgender sex workers in detention in Hong Kong.

Theme: Violence

STAR-STAR, a sex workers' collective in the Balkans, has published Voluntary Sex Work. They interviewed 73 sex workers in the city of Skopje. Their key research objectives were to understand sex workers' attitudes and perceptions towards voluntary sex work and the legalisation of sex work, to raise the general population's awareness about sex work, and finally, to present the advantages and disadvantages of sex work legalisation. 

Theme: Labour

The Women's Legal Centre has published their report on Police Abuse of Sex Workers in South Africa. The Women's Legal Centre is an organisation working to ensure that women in South Afica can live free from violence in safe housing, are free to own property, are empowered to ensure their own reporductive health rights, and are able to work in a safe and equal environment. Their report shows that 414 sex workers reported various types of violence perpetrated by police between 2011 and 2015.

Theme: Violence

In Australia, certain sexual acts performed in pornography are deemed offensive and degrading in criminal law. Zahra Stardust demonstrates how performer-producers are resisting government classification and criminal laws by engaging in sex workers' rights activism through creating performer-centered spaces and pioneering best practices labour standards. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.

Theme: Labour

Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience is a peer-reviewed publication for sex workers, activists, health workers, researchers, NGO staff and policy makers. It is available in English and French. All issues of Research for Sex Work can be found here

The ICRSE Community Report Exploitation: Unfair Labour Arrangements and Precarious Working Conditions in the Sex Industry discusses exploitation in the sex industry, while simultaneously challenging anti-sex work advocates' understanding of sex work as 'sexual exploitation'. Through case studies in Europe and Central Asia, it argues that both sex work, as a form of work and income-generating activity, and exploitation, as labour arrangements that enable one person to take unfair advantage of the work of another, belong to the realm of work and should be viewed and analysed through the lens of labour. 

Theme: Labour

NSWP is calling on the Turkish government, Turkish police, and the Turkish justice system to take urgent action to uphold the human rights of male, female, and transgender sex workers. Sex workers have the same right to protection from the law and access to justice as other people. They also have the right to be treated with dignity and respect without discrimination. The occupation and gender identity of sex workers should never be used to deny access to justice, health services, or social services.

According to a 2015 survey by Transgender Europe entitled Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide Project, 79 percent of transgender sex workers interviewed in Turkey reported experiencing police harassment. According to the Project for the Mapping of Violence Against and Legal Support for Trans Sex Workers, one in every two sex workers has experienced violence, and 50 percent of this violence was perpetrated by the police.

Transgender sex workers in Turkey are particularly vulnerable to violence, including from the police. In May 2015, NSWP published an article about seven transgender women who were violently attacked in different cities across Turkey. Two days after these attacks, more than 100 people gathered in Ankara to protest about violence against transgender people in Turkey.

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Sex Workers mark the 3rd International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers with a protest at the 6th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong. 

December 17 is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers and each year sex-worker organisations in different parts of the world organise different activities to commemorate the sex workers who have been abused and/or killed, and urge the public to respect sex workers' human rights. Just in time for the 6th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (MC6) held in Hong Kong, sex-worker organisations from all over the world (Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia) marched and held exhibitions to help the public understand more about the situation of sex workers, and to eliminate violence against sex workers.

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Theme: Violence

From: PRay@amnesty.org
Subject: Guatemala - LGBT activist shot, witness in danger
Category: PUBLIC
Date: 21 December 2005
AI Index: AMR 34/044/2005
UA 325/05

Fear for Safety — Guatemala

LGBT activist shot, witness in danger

Sulma (legal name Kevin Josue Alegria Robles) Other transvestite sex workers in Guatemala City Other members of the Organizacion de Apoyo a una Sexualidad Integral frente al SIDA, Integral Sexuality AIDS Support Organisation (OASIS)

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Stigma still the major barrier for an effective HIV/AIDS response

By Shyamala Ashok, India

After a great trauma and toil in loosing one of our committed peer educators for sex workers and most of all a young friend of ours with the HIV status, a member of the women's positive network in Pondicherry, I have tried to illustrate the case for an analysis as below.

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MEDIA RELEASE
Friday, December 30, 2006

WE ARE INDIGNANT!

We Condemn To The Highest The Degree The Barbaric Acts Alleged To Be Police And Uniformed Officers Of Guatemala!

It is sad to note that persons who are given the responsibility of safeguarding the lives of the people in the community and maintaining peace and order ARE THE LAW BREAKERS THEMSELVES!

The death of Paulina and shooting of Sulma are examples of abuse of power! We are sad and we condemn those perpetrators that has caused her death and endangering the life of all other travestis/transgenders who do sex work!

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Theme: Violence

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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This Declaration is made by sex workers and by organisations dedicated to promoting their human rights and welfare. The Declaration lists rights that all individuals within Europe, including sex workers, enjoy under international human rights law; the Declaration then prescribes measures and recommends practices that the signatories of the Declaration believe are the minimum necessary to ensure that these rights are respected and protected. These rights must be respected and protected in the development and implementation of policies and programmes designed to address trafficking, irregular migration or terrorism.

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This paper addresses the persistence of violence against female commercial sex workers in the United States, drawing on the experiences of the Best Practices Policy Project in conducting outreach, research, and relationship building with diverse commercial sex worker stakeholders.

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Research for Sex Work 8: Sex Work and Law Enforcement 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.

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Letter to the U. S. Department of State. This letter, signed by nine researchers from around the globe and addressed to Ambassador John Miller, provides a response to the facts listed in the Department of State's Fact Sheet on Prostitution and Trafficking, released in 2004. In this letter, the signatories discuss the problems with the fact sheet and it's conclusions,

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