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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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Report on the Activities
of the Coordinator in London

August 26 - September 3, 2004

This brief report is to inform NSWP members and the board about the activities that the coordinator participated in during my visit to London and Brighton, August 26 - September 3, 2004. Mainly I was invited to the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD +10), and to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) used the opportunity and invited me to consult with them about preparing the training. I also "skipped" one day to go to Brighton for a meeting with Cheryl Overs, Senior Officer for Focused Prevention at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. The week made several activities possible.

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The Network of Sex Work Projects held a meeting in Rio de Janeiro, 16-19 July.

The meeting had two goals:

  • To identify priority issues for global advocacy, and
  • To review the role and structure of the NSWP and make recommendations about ways to improve or reform it.
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UN Member States convened to undertake a comprehensive review of the progress achieved in realising the targets set out in the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS at the 2006 UNGASS Review Meeting.

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Over 2006, a number of activities were conducted and reports followed. These are some of the activities the Network of Sex Work Projects participated in during 2006, along with links to some of the reports.

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The Network of Sex Work Projects held a meeting in Rio de Janeiro, 16-19 July 2006.

The meeting had two goals:

  • To identify priority issues for global advocacy, and
  • To review the role and structure of the NSWP and make recommendations about ways to improve or reform it.
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The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers wrote this letter against the funding of International Justice Mission (IJM) for a pilot project to 'rescue' sex workers in Asia. The project coordinates with local police during brothel raids where sex workers are forcibly removed and detained illegally. The Global Network of Sex Work Projects condemns these violations of sex workers' rights, and has demanded that the Gates Foundation immediately cease funding these human rights abuses by the International Justice Mission.

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Rio de Janeiro, 30 March 2004

Ref: Protest

Dear Papua New Guinea Embassador:

The NSWP is a non-governmental non-profit organization founded in 1990 to advocate for sex workers health and human rights. With more than 300 organizations and projects throughout the world, the NSWP works closely with major international health agencies, such as UNAIDS and WHO.

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UPDATE
April 6, 2004

Human Rights in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — Every year, when Carnival is close, anti-sex work campaigns are launched throughout Brazil. Some are justifiable, such as the anti child sex work, but we all know that it opens the door for the most conservative sectors of the society to jump on our necks.

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Apology to Cheryl Overs

From: Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse
University of New South Wales
clearinghouse@unsw.edu.au

To: cherylovers@hotmail.com
Subject: Apology from Clearinghouse
Date: Friday September 3, 2004

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Intervention by Martine Ago, Ivory Coast:
The United Nations General Assembly
High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS


United Nations Headquarters
New York, USA, June 1, 2006

Your Excellency, the president of the United Nations General Assembly; Your Excellence, the Secretary General of the United Nations; and honored invitees, ladies and gentlemen:

I am Martine Ago, representative of sex professionals, from the Ivory Coast, a country that knows firsthand a military-political crisis with its crushing poverty, violence and degradation of the health system.

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Theme: Health

Fostering Enabling Legal and Policy Environments to Protect the Health and Rights of Sex Workers

Johannesburg, South Africa, June 22-24, 2006

Organised and sponsored by the Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP) and Law and Health Initiative (LAHI) of Open Society Institute (OSI), this meeting brought together sex workers, service providers, human rights advocates, researchers and others to discuss how legal and regulatory environments affect sex workers' health and human rights.

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MEDIA RELEASE
Monday, August 14, 2006

Health and human rights advocates denounce Gates Foundation's support of raids on sex workers

Advocates gather in Toronto to promote rights and safety of groups vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

TORONTO — The international Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and other human rights NGOs applaud this week's commitment by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to commit $500 million to the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts. At the same time, however, the Gates Foundation has bowed to conservative pressure in the United States by funding groups that conduct and assist police raids on sex workers in countries like Cambodia and Thailand. These raids are infamous for further endangering vulnerable women.

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The consultation is to obtain views on ethics review of social care research. Comments are welcomed from those working in social care research and practice communities, from service users/carers or organisations representing them and from members of the public with an interest in research. The consultation follows the six criteria for consultation set out in Cabinet Office Code of Practice.

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The Challenge of Change is a collaborative report of the Standing Committe on Justice and Human Rights and the Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws in Canada.

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Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP) or Self-Determination Applied to Research: A Critical Analysis of Contemporary First Nations Research and Some Options for First Nations Communities

The principles of ownership, control, access and possession (OCAP) crystalise themes long advocated by First Nations in Canada. Coined by the Steering Committee of the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey, the principles are discussed as an expression of self-determination in research. The key notions outlined in this paper relate to the collective ownership of group information; First Nations control over research and information; First Nations’ management of access to their data and physical possession of the data.

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On 8 October 2004 the report on The Purchase of Sexual Services in Sweden and the Netherlands. Regulation and Experiences. A Report from the Working Group on the Legal Regulation of the Purchase of Sexual Services was handed over to Odd Einer Dorum, the Norwegian Minister of Justice and Police Affairs The report was published in the Ministry of Justice and Police Affairs report seres for the year 2004.

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This report is the beginning of an important social dialogue about the role that the law will play in governing the sex industry in Canada. Pivot has argued that criminal law reform is the first step towards a shift from the status quo, where sex workers are subject to extreme levels of violence and social marginalisation, to a society where sex workers are empowered to create safe and dignified working conditions. Criminal law reform will be most effectively carried out if all levels of government consider the findings of this research and contemplate how areas of law that fall within their jurisdiction will play a role in creating a safe and legitimate sex industry.

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This report focuses on rape and violence perpetrated against sex workers in Phnom Penh, despite a drop in HIV rates among Cambodian citizens through it's 100% Condom Programme and other regulatory approaches that do not extend to rights and safety for sex workers.

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Research for Sex Work 9: Sex Work and Money 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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