The struggles for sex workers’ and women’s rights are innately interconnected. Worldwide, most sex workers are women, who share challenges in their fight for justice, equality, and the right to be free from violence, stigma, and discrimination. Nevertheless, within the women’s movement there have been obstacles to acceptance of and meaningful engagement with sex worker-led organisations, ranging from ideological opposition to outright abuse.
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This resource is a Community Guide to the Policy Brief: COVID-19 and Sex Workers/ Sex Worker-led Organisations. It provides an overview of the full Policy Brief, and provides key recommendations based on important lessons learned throughout the pandemic.
You can download this 5-page resource above. This resource is available in English, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.
As a criminalised population, sex workers have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, often living in precarious economic situations and excluded from social protection systems. This policy brief includes feedback directly from sex worker-led organisations and sex workers on their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including its impact upon access to services, supplies of HIV treatment, and prevention commodities.
Sex Worker-led Organisations’ Engagement with International Policies and Guidelines: A Review of Policy Impacts from 2016–2020
This case study is the fourth and final instalment in a series produced by NSWP over a five-year period. Spanning the years 2015 to 2019, three previous case studies documented the role of NSWP and its member organisations in the development, implementation, and monitoring of rights-affirming international guidelines and policies on sex work. These case studies also examined the usage and impact of international guidelines and policies in local, national, and regional sex worker advocacy.
This case study will describe the journey of sex worker-led organisations in gaining knowledge about the Global Fund and its national processes to ensure the meaningful involvement of sex workers in 2020 Global Fund funding proposals development, and explores the barriers that sex workers face.
This case study is the third of five case studies that will be published on a yearly basis from 2016-2020. These case studies will monitor and document the impact of international guidelines and policies on sex work that NSWP and NSWP members have helped develop. NSWP will also monitor how members use these international guidelines in local, national and regional advocacy efforts. Examples of international guidelines include the Amnesty International Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers, the Sex Worker Implementation Tool, and the development of the UN Women policy on sex work.
This resource is a Community Guide to the Policy Brief on Sex Workers and Travel Restrictions. It provides an overview of the full Policy Brief, and provides key recommendations for policy makers and health service providers.
Sex workers face many barriers to migration and travel, and are often subjected to arbitrary questioning, biased visa refusals and surveillance and discriminatory immigration checks after entering a country. Sex workers’ movement can also be restricted under measures purporting to be ‘anti-trafficking’. Travel restrictions can create a great deal of stress for sex workers, and some sex workers avoid travel altogether because they are afraid of being denied entry, deported or of being identified as a sex worker.
NSWP provides technical support to regional sex worker networks in line with the needs identified by each regional network. This includes face-to-face technical support around organisational development to the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), and the Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network for Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (SWAN), in addition to virtual technical support provided to other regional networks.
Enhancing sex workers’ capacity to engage with Global Fund processes: Evaluating NSWP’s 2018 capacity building programme
This case study focuses on the NSWP’s Global Fund capacity development programme for regional and national sex worker-led organisations, and assesses its impact. The programme supports a range of capacity building activities in 27 countries, and this case study focuses on the impact of these interventions in 2018. Specifically, the case study highlights the ability of regional networks and community experts to provide technical support relating to the Global Fund, and the capacity within sex worker-led organisations to engage with the Global Fund.
This resource is a Community Guide to the Policy Brief: The Impact of Anti-trafficking Legislation and Initiatives on Sex Workers. It provides an overview of the full Policy Brief, and provides key recommendations for policy makers and health service providers.
Trafficking in persons has generated increasing global attention in recent decades, largely due to the development of international frameworks, pressure from fundamental feminist and abolitionist groups, and as a reaction to increased migration for labour. International policies on trafficking frequently contain vague or ambiguous language, which can cause harm to sex workers in a number of ways.
This resource is a Community Guide to the Policy Brief on the Impact of Stigma and Discrimination on Key Populations and Their Families. It provides an overview of the full Policy Brief, and provides key recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders.
Societal stigma and punitive legal frameworks often severely impede key populations’ rights to raise families free from interference and discrimination. The experiences of key population groups (gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers, and transgender people) are diverse, and are informed by varying levels of criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, and individual factors such as socioeconomic status, gender, race, and health status. This paper explores these challenges, and provides recommendations for policymakers.
A growing number of countries are considering or implementing sex work law reform focusing on ‘ending demand’, which criminalises the purchase of sexual services. This Policy Brief outlines the impact of ‘end demand’ legislation on the human rights of female sex workers, through research and testimony from NSWP members in countries where paying for sex is criminalised. This document explores how these laws not only fail to promote gender equality for women who sell sex, but actively prevent the realisation of their human rights.
This resource is a Community Guide to the Policy Brief on the Impact of Criminalisation on Sex Workers’ Vulnerability to HIV and Violence. This guide summarises how criminalisation increases sex workers’ vulnerability to violence and HIV, and makes a series of recommendations towards the full decriminalisation of sex work as an integral step to improving the lives of sex workers. The full Policy Brief is available here.
This policy brief examines the impact of laws that criminalise sex work, informed by NSWP members’ submissions to an e-consultation. It examines the impact of criminalisation at three distinct phases: the surveillance and policing of sex workers prior to arrest; arrest and formal involvement of the criminal justice system; and release and return to the community. The paper covers various areas of law and law enforcement practices that disproportionately impact sex workers, including immigration laws, policing of public spaces, anti-LGBTQ laws, HIV criminalisation and religious codes.
This resource is a Community Guide to the Sex Work and Gender Equality policy brief. It highlights the linkages between sex workers’ rights and gender equality. It argues the women’s movement must meaningfully include sex workers as partners. It advocates for a feminism that recognises sex workers’ rights as human rights and highlights shared areas of work under an international human rights framework.
This policy brief highlights the linkages between sex workers’ rights and gender equality. It argues the women’s movement must meaningfully include sex workers as partners. It advocates for a feminism that recognises sex workers’ rights as human rights and highlights shared areas of work under an international human rights framework. Ultimately, there can be no gender equality if sex workers’ human rights are not fully recognised and protected. A community guide is also available.
This resource is a Community Guide to the Sex Work as Work policy brief. It summarises international frameworks that address work and the right to work, and particularly, sex work as work. It shows the benefits of viewing sex work as work through a labour approach. It also summarises the consultation with NSWP members about what decent work would look like in the context of sex work.