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Usha Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited (USHA) is the largest and the first ever sex worker-led financial institution in South Asia, exclusively run by and for sex workers. Steered by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), a sex worker collective in West Bengal, India, USHA provides economic empowerment to sex workers by offering them loans at low interest rates, encouraging short and long-term savings and supporting self-employment schemes.

Download this resource: USHA Case Study, NSWP - 2020

NSWP has published a statement in response to the recent influx of consultations that seek to include sex worker voices from around the world. You can download the 2-page statement as a PDF above or read the text below. 

This is the 28th issue of NSWP's quarterly newsletter ‘Sex Work Digest’, covering the period January - July 2020. 

Features include:

NSWP facilitated a delegation from member organisations to attend the 64th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The 64th CSW session was cut from almost two weeks to one day following the outbreak of COVID-19, and was attended by government delegations only. This meant that all side and parallel events were cancelled and the expected robust discussions between community organisations and governments, and the essential input from civil society to hold governments accountable, was entirely absent.

Download this resource: NSWP at CSW64, NSWP - 2020

This manual was developed as a supplement to the Smart Sex Worker’s Guide: Rights-Affirming International Policies Relating to Sex Work. It includes recommendations for effective forms of follow-up advocacy that sex workers’ rights advocates can utilise after engaging with international and regional human rights mechanisms.

This Smart Person’s Guide is a tool to support sex workers and their allies in advocating for the recognition of sex workers’ expertise. Sex workers’ have an indispensable knowledge of, and experience with the structural, legal, institutional, socio-economic and cultural barriers which impede their human and labour rights. Evidence shows that meaningful involvement of sex workers is critical to success in tackling inequality and inequity.

You can download this 30-page Smart Guide above. It is available in English, Russian, Chinese, French, and Spanish. 

Funding for sex worker-led organisations is shrinking, as has the space for the voices of sex workers, resulting in sex workers having less influence in programmes, policies and other decisions that affect their lives. Civil society organisations and other stakeholders now feel they have the right to funding and advocacy platforms, either because they work with sex workers and are therefore ‘experts’ who can speak for sex workers, or they wish to exclude sex workers’ voices entirely because they refuse to recognise sex workers’ rights as human rights.

2020 is the 25 year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA). This Briefing Note outlines the Beijing+25 review process, how sex workers have engaged in this process thus far, and the priorities for inclusion in Beijing+25 actions.

True progress towards gender equality, gender justice and fulfilment of women’s human rights must be inclusive of women in all their diversity, including sex workers. Sex workers face intersecting forms of criminalisation, discrimination and marginalisation, which cannot be addressed in isolation. 

In August 2019, a group of feminist activists from diverse regions and social movements gathered in Mexico City to strategise towards the 25th anniversary of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, which was held in China in 1995 and produced the Beijing Platform for Action.

In August 2019, a group of feminist activists from diverse regions and social movements gathered in Mexico City to strategise towards the 25th anniversary of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, which was held in China in 1995 and produced the Beijing Platform for Action.

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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

PONY Statement on Demand

Submitted to the Beijing +10 Fourth World Conference on Women by Prostitutes of New York

Written by Jo Doezema and Melissa Ditmore

Prostitutes of New York is an organization of many kinds of workers in New York City's sex industry. PONY is a member of the international Network of Sex Work Projects, which advocates for the rights of sex workers around the world. Two keywords have arisen in anti-sex work anti-trafficking advocacy: "demand" and "dignity."

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For more information on Prostitution Issues at the World Conference on Women Beijing '95 see the Prostitutes Education Network at: http://www.bayswan.org/UNpage.html.

Trafficking Statement from the North American Delegates of the Network of Sex Work Projects

Recognizing that fraudulent and coercive trafficking and forced prostitution have historically been problems, threatening the health and well-being of women in developing countries, as well as women in post-industrialized countries, and

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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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From:Melissa Hope

Date:September 13, 2005 11:48:42 AM EDT
To:bmcserieseditor@biomedcentral.com, editorial@biomedcentral.com, info@biomedcentral.com
Cc:Lori Heise , brachlis@ccnm.edu, Kumanan.Wilson@uhn.on.ca, sosingh@jhsph.edu, pwu@ccnm.edu, elainem.wong@gmail.com, emills@ccnm.edu
Subject:Letter in response to Mills et al's "Media reporting of tenofovir trials in Cambodia and Cameroon"

To the editor:

Mills et al("Media reporting of tenofovir trials in Cambodia and Cameroon" BMC International Health and Human Rights 2005, 5:6, 24 August 24, 2005) claim in their first sentence that PREP trials were "closed due to activist pressure on host country governments". Activists worked to improve trial conditions, which would have been a real victory. The reason these trials were closed was that researchers did not meet with or meet the needs of participants. This lack of engagement with participants is why participants became activists and reached out to their international support networks and the media.

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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

APNSW statement at 7th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, Kobe, Japan

July 5, 2005

Please forward widely

This morning at the closing ceremony of the Seventh International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific Maria-san and Andrew of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) talked about sex workers' experience of the conference. The opportunity for sex workers from twenty countries throughout the region to come together again. We had a lot to celebrate. The APNSW and the Japanese sex workers movement were both founded here in Japan in Yokohama in 1994. Now as then our Japanese sex worker colleagues were wonderful hosts organizing cultural events that ensured that male, female and transgender sex workers were the stars of the day.

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Theme: Health

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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