What we do

NSWP amplifies the voices of sex worker-led organisations advocating for rights-based services, freedom from abuse and discrimination, freedom from punitive laws, policies and practices, and self-determination for sex workers. NSWP works primarily with sex worker-led regional networks and facilitates sex worker-led capacity building.

NSWP’s work is informed by the Consensus Statement on Sex Work, Human Rights, and the Law, published in 2014 following a global members’ consultation, and endorsed by all members of NSWP.  

NSWP publishes a wide range of resources, including Briefing Papers and Policy Briefs, with accompanying Community Guides, Global and Regional Reports, Smart Guides, Statements, the Research for Sex Work journal and Case Studies. NSWP’s Regional Correspondents provide sex work-related News from across the five NSWP regions.

NSWP advocates for and facilitates sex worker representation in international policy forums, and ensures that sex worker-led organisations have opportunities to contribute to the development of international normative guidance, such as the Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT).

NSWP is the lead agency in a Sex Worker Networks Consortium, bringing together the global and regional sex worker-led networks in developing and implementing capacity building programmes funded by the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund.


NSWP has made an important contribution to changes that have brought concrete benefits to the lives of sex workers. Achievements at a global level include:

  • Shifting global understanding about sex work as labour through successfully advocating within the United Nations for the use of the terms ‘sex worker’ and ‘sex work’.
  • Advocating that the Palermo Protocol (2000) – the UN convention against trafficking in persons – define trafficking of adults to involve force or coercion.
  • Organising the Sex Worker Freedom Festival, the alternative International AIDS Conference 2012 event for sex workers and allies, in response to US travel restrictions for sex workers.
  • Ensuring sex workers voices were heard and rights-based approaches included in the updated UNAIDS Guidance Note on HIV and Sex Work (2012).
  • Securing recommendations to decriminalise sex work and empower sex worker communities in the WHO guidelines on Prevention and Treatment of HIV and Other STIs for Sex Workers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, produced by the WHO, UNFPA, UNAIDS and NSWP in 2012.
  • Ensuring sex worker-led organisations contributed to the development of the Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT), produced by the WHO, UNAIDS, UNFPA, NSWP, UNDP and the World Bank in 2013.
  • Building a strong and powerful alliance with other global networks of key populations to advocate at international and national levels for community-led, rights-based programming.


More information on NSWP’s work and strategic planning can be found in these documents:

Annual Report 201820172016 - 20152014 - 2013 - 2012
Strategic Plan 2016-2020 - 2013-2015 - 2010-2012
Strategic Review 2015