Resources

This resource has been developed both for researchers and community-based organisations in rights-constrained environments. It is intended to help both researchers and community organisations to:

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Theme: Health

Sex workers constitute a key population affected by HIV, with multiple factors contributing to their vulnerability. Around the world, HIV programming falls short of taking these factors into account and actively working towards their reduction. Sex workers are put at risk of exposure to HIV by criminalisation; violence; unsafe working conditions; violations of their human rights; stigma, discrimination and social marginalisation; drug and alcohol use; unequal access to appropriate health services; minimal access to HIV prevention tools (such as safe sex supplies and safer injecting equipment); barriers to negotiation of safe sex with clients; offers of higher fees for unprotected sex; and an absence of HIV-related information targeted at sex workers, due to insufficient funding for rights-based and sex worker led programming.  This Briefing Paper discusses these in detail.

The present guide is a companion to a study and has been designed for program planners, policy, and decision makers, and civil society organisations that advocate for and work with FSWs and MSM in programs related to HIV and AIDS. It draws upon key findings from the original study and provides details on how to use data for decision making and evidence-based HIV programs, services, and policies, which address the needs of people living with HIV (PLHIV), men who have sex with men (MSM), and female sex workers (FSWs) in Côte d’Ivoire.

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Theme: Health

Harm Reduction International has released a report examining the multiple and varied contexts within which drug use and sex work overlap.

The report provides a snapshot of available evidence on the factors that contribute to vulnerability among people who sell sex and use drugs. It draws on experience from harm reduction and sex work communities to explore implications for practice. Existing programmes that reach people who sell sex and use drugs  around the world are highlighted and practical suggestions on how programmes can better serve this overlapping population are offered.

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In this resource, UN Women respond to the anti-decriminalisation campaign by Equality Now. UN Women reaffirm that sex work is work, and that sex workers need the rights that come with full decriminalisation. They highlight and condemn attempts to conflate sex work with sexual exploitation and trafficking. They note that conflating these very different concepts leads to human rights abuses towards both sex workers and trafficked people.

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The Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT) offers practical guidance on effective HIV and STI programming for sex workers.

Download this resource: SWIT_en_UNDP logo.pdf

This resource is an OSF briefing paper on the recent findings of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. It aims to highlight the Commission's findings in language that will make the information useful for activists and those advocating for sex workers' rights. 

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The World Health Organization (WHO) released new guidelines for earlier treatment of HIV at the International Aids Society Conference 2013.

A fact sheet on the guidelines can be accessed here.

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Theme: Health

The report to the UN by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights in Namibia discusses the challenges faced by sex workers, writing "the criminalization of sex work in Namibia lies at the foundation of a climate of stigma, discrimination and violence surrounding sex work".

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Briefing paper produced by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) that outlines the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal being negotiated between the U.S. and ten other Pacific nations.

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Theme: Health

The need to reduce ‘demand’ for trafficked persons is widely mentioned in the anti-trafficking sector but few have looked at ‘demand’ critically or substantively. Some ‘demand’-based approaches have been heavily critiqued, such as the idea that eliminating sex workers’ clients (or the ‘demand’ for commercial sex) through incarceration or stigmatisation will reduce trafficking.

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This is a summary of the New Prevention Technologies and their Implications for Sex Workers briefing paper. It provides an overview of the new HIV prevention tools on the horizon, including microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), vaccines, and ‘treatment for prevention’. It details the possible positive and negative impacts of these as identified by sex worker organisations. Finally, it explores how sex workers’ advocacy can influence the development and introduction of these tools in ways that maximise usefulness and minimise risk to sex workers.  

Theme: Health

This NSWP briefing paper provides an overview of the new HIV prevention tools on the horizon, including microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), vaccines, and ‘treatment for prevention’. It details the possible positive and negative impacts of these as identified by sex worker organisations. Finally, it explores how sex workers’ advocacy can influence the development and introduction of these tools in ways that maximise usefulness and minimise risk to sex workers. A summary  is also available.

Theme: Health

This is a summary of the Sex Work is Not Trafficking briefing paper. It explains how sex work is conflated with trafficking; the legal framework; how demand for sex work is conflated with trafficking; the dangers of conflating trafficking with sex work, its impacts on sex workers’ lives and work; the impact on sex worker programming; and offers some recommendations for policy makers, donors and for civil society. 

This briefing paper explains how sex work is conflated with trafficking; the legal framework; how demand for sex work is conflated with trafficking; the dangers of conflating trafficking with sex work, its impacts on sex workers’ lives and work; the impact on sex worker programming; and offers some recommendations for policy makers, donors and for civil society. A summary is also available.

This is a summary of the Criminalisation of Clients briefing paper. The criminalisation of sex workers’ clients is often claimed to be part of a new legal framework to eradicate sex work and trafficking by ‘ending demand’. In 1999, Sweden criminalised sex workers’ clients and maintained the criminalisation of third parties such as brothel-owners, managers, security and support staff. The individual selling of sex remained legal. This model is frequently referred to as the ‘Swedish’, ‘Nordic’ or ‘End Demand’ model. There is great pressure in many countries to advance such legal and policy measures. The damaging consequences of this model on sex workers’ health, rights and living conditions are rarely discussed.  

This briefing paper discusses the trend towards criminalisation of sex workers’ clients, a policy that is part of a new legal framework to eradicate sex work and trafficking by ‘ending demand’. In 1999, Sweden criminalised sex workers’ clients and maintained the criminalisation of third parties such as brothel-owners, managers, security and support staff. The individual selling of sex remained legal. This model is frequently referred to as the ‘Swedish’, ‘Nordic’ or ‘End Demand’ model. There is great pressure in many countries to advance such legal and policy measures. The damaging consequences of this model on sex workers’ health, rights and living conditions are rarely discussed. A  summary is also available.

This is a summary of the PEPFAR and Sex Work briefing paper. PEPFAR has made anti-retroviral treatment (ART) available for many people, including sex workers.  However, PEPFAR funding contracts with organisations specify that a certain amount of this money be spent on abstinence programming.  Contracts include a clause that the organisation accepting funding is opposed to prostitution.  This has been called the 'anti-prostitution pledge' or 'anti-prostitution loyalty oath'.

Theme: Health

This briefing paper discusses PEPFAR and its anti-prostitution pledge. PEPFAR has made anti-retroviral treatment (ART) available for many people, including sex workers.  However, PEPFAR funding contracts with organisations specify that a certain amount of this money be spent on abstinence programming.  Contracts include a clause that the organisation accepting funding is opposed to prostitution.  This has been called the 'anti-prostitution pledge' or 'anti-prostitution loyalty oath'. A 3 page summary of this briefing paper is also available.

Theme: Health

This is the English version of the Note for Record of the September 2011 UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work

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