Resources

Sex workers all over the world were among the hardest hit communities at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to be impacted by this global public health crisis. The structural oppression that sex workers faced before the pandemic as a result of criminalisation, stigma and discrimination was exacerbated as sex workers experienced hardship, a total loss of income, increased harassment, human rights abuses, and health inequalities. The vast majority of sex workers were excluded from emergency responses and national social protection schemes.

Anti-rights movements pose numerous threats to sex workers, with their diverse ideologies, aims, and emerging alliances. These threats must be better understood to promote sex workers’ rights.

This resource is a Community Guide to the Briefing Paper: The Impacts of Anti-Rights Movements on Sex Workers. It provides an overview of the full Briefing Paper, and provides key recommendations for respecting and protecting sex workers’ human rights.

In recent years, movements organised against the rights of marginalised and criminalised groups have grown in influence and impact around the globe. Anti-migrants’ rights groups have lobbied for more restrictive border policies, in violation of the right to move and migrate. Anti-sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and anti-LGBT groups have pushed back access to sexual and reproductive services and gender-affirming care for women, trans, and gender-diverse people, in violation of the right to health.

Legislation around sex work can be extremely complex and different legal models exist in different countries, and sometimes even within countries. While understanding the written laws and regulations is important, it does not provide a complete picture of the impact of sex work laws on the lives of sex workers. To understand this, it is essential to understand how the laws are interpreted, enforced, and implemented on the ground.

The 2023-2028 Global Fund Strategy will guide Global Fund approaches, decision-making, and investment for the next 6 years in a 70-page document. It is important because it describes what the Global Fund will do and how it will do it. The Strategy will influence how investment will be disbursed at the country level, how and who will implement programmes, and how and who will be involved in making the decisions.

Theme: Health

This is the fourth set of videos in a series from NSWP called Global Fund Basics.

This set of videos covers the new Global Fund Strategy 2023-2028. 

Video 1 covers an introduction to the Strategy and the Strategy Framework.

Video 2 covers the Evolving Objective and begins to look at the Strategy Narrative in more detail.

Video 3 covers the Mutually Reinforcing Contributory Objectives, maximising engagement and leadership of communities and maximising health equity, gender equality and human rights.

NSWP have written an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Government of Spain, and the leaders of all political parties in the Congress of Deputies regarding the legislative proposals to amend the Spanish Penal Code and introduce new provisions regarding sex work. The proposed reforms include amending the Penal Code to extend the punishment of third parties to include non-coercive relationships and decouple it from exploitation and consent, violating sex workers’ right to housing and the security of sex workers, many of whom live and work in the same place.

Download this resource: NSWP Open Letter, NSWP - 2022

Universal Health Coverage speaks to the global goal of providing all people with the health care they need without creating undue financial burdens on the individual. In many parts of the world, health provision and access to health services remains extremely poor, particularly for criminalised and marginalised populations such as sex workers and other key populations.

The Annual Report highlights the activities and achievements of NSWP in 2021.

Contents include:

Download this resource: Annual Report 2021

You can download this 1 page PDF resource above. This resource is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

Cover of strategic plan showing a world map covered in red umbrellas

 

The Strategic Plan outlines the mission, values, goals and strategies of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) in 2022-2025. 

Download this resource: Strategic Plan 2022-2025, NSWP - 2022

Sex workers worldwide are overwhelmingly excluded from social protection schemes and government emergency responses put in place for other workers. Criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, and the failure to recognise sex work as work compound sex workers’ exclusion and foster economic insecurity. Sex work must be recognised as work and all aspects decriminalised to ensure that sex workers can access the same social protections, emergency financial support, and labour rights as all other workers.

This infographic summarises the Briefing Paper on Sex Workers’ Lack of Access to Justice.

Sex workers around the world face a wide range of barriers to accessing justice, both as victims of crime and when charged with crimes. Since sex work is widely criminalised, most sex workers are denied access to the benefits and rights afforded to other workers under labour laws and face the risk of criminalisation, detention, deportation and legal sanction.

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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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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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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