Recent media reporting on sex work in various African countries show that sex workers continue to be portrayed negatively. Media outlets are further stereotyping sex workers using unsavouraly labels as well as portraying them in negative light. For example, in Kenya, one media station said sex workers ‘prey’ on married men while another termed them as ‘greedy’.
The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) is co-organising a key populations pre-conference for this year’s International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) in Zimbabwe.
Local LGBT, sex worker, and Haitian women’s groups are speaking out against the violation of their rights in the Dominican Republic, reports Diario Libre. Haitian women and members of the LGBT community are often cited as victims of “sex trafficking” in the Dominican Republic. Many work in the sex industry due to job discrimination. NSWP’s Briefing Paper, Sex Work is Not Trafficking, explores this topic.
The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) sends condolences to the family and friends of Joel Gustave Nana, the immediate former Executive Director of African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHER), who passed away last month.
Dutch sex workers working without a brothel license may risk a prison sentence of up to six months. The Act Regulating Prostitution (WRP) proposes to criminalise all sex workers without licensure, including sex workers who work alone and camgirls/camboys. According to the Research and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of Justice and Safety, this will affect one third of all sex workers. Parliament will vote on the law proposal before the end of the year. Most political parties have expressed their support of the law.
There are unique challenges for African trans sex workers in their lives and work. Two trans sex workers in Uganda and South Africa have shared the unique challenges they face, including transphobia. ASWA board member and trans sex worker from Uganda, Beyonce Karungi as well as refugee trans sex worker, Flavina from South Africa, have both shared their life stories in articles published recently.
PrEP should be easily accessible to sex workers in Nigeria as an HIV prevention tool, an activist has urged with the Nigerian Sex Workers’ Alliance. Writing for the HIVE, an online journal on sexual and reproductive health, the coordinator of the Nigerian Sex Workers Alliance, Narah (a pseudonym), said that sex workers are being left behind when PrEP is offered.
Sex workers in three Southern African countries are the first beneficiaries of a programme that will see provide free HIV self-testing kits. Population Services International (PSI) is rolling out oral-swab HIV self-test kits to sex workers and other key populations in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. According to PSI, the self-testing kits are important because many people have not been tested because of stigma or limited access to health care facilities.
Stigmatisation and discrimination of sex workers at hospitals has been identified as one of the key barriers in accessing health services, a study has shown.
The study, conducted by the Center for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research (CeSHHAR) indicates that, in some hospitals and clinics in Zimbabwe, sex workers face hostile reception from health care providers and this hampers their access to HIV related treatment and care.
Squirt, a Canadian gay sex website owned by Pink Triangle Press, announced October 21st that they have pulled escort ads from their service according to Daily Xtra.
On Wednesday October 14, the French Senate, which holds a conservative party majority, threw out a bill passed by the National Assembly in 2013 that proposes to criminalise the clients of sex workers. Clients of sex workers would be liable for fines up to €1,500 for a first offence and €3,750 for repeated offences. Senators voted 190 to 117 against the bill.
Research for Sex Work is a peer-reviewed international journal that incorporates community-led research and lived experiences, and reports on sex work within a rights-based framework. NSWP Is seeking contributions that document and reflect on sex workers’ resistance and resilience to various forms of oppression.
La Red Global de de Proyectos de trabajo Sexual (NSWP por sus siglas en ingles) Con el fin de desarrollar y mantener una sección latinoamericana de su portal web, donde se podrán Conocer las propuestas y actividades de “La Plataforma Latinoamérica de Personas que Ejercen el Trabajo Sexual” (PLAPERTS) CAPÍTULO ECUADOR y de sus redes y organizaciones de América Latina, creando así un espacio donde puedan compartir recursos de toda la región.
The International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) and the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) have written a briefing paper focussing on the experiences, views, needs, and rights of sex workers who use drugs. The Briefing Paper discusses existing research and writing, and also includes case studies from sex worker-led and drug user-led organisations on the perspectives and experiences of sex workers who use drugs, and on how best to meet the needs of this community.
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) stands by Human Rights Defender Alejandra Gil and Amnesty International’s decision to adopt a policy to protect the human rights of sex workers, including the full decriminalisation of sex work.
La Plataforma Latinoamericana de personas que ejercen el trabajo sexual, PLAPERTS, informa: en el Marco de las actividades por el día internacional de las trabajadoras sexuales, 02 de Junio del presente año, se presentó al presidente del Congreso de la República del Perú, la iniciativa de propuesta de ley que reconoce el trabajo sexual.
Sex workers were joined by human rights activists in Nakuru County, Kenya in protest of the murder of four female sex workers. According to the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA), seven sex workers have been killed over the past month. Members of KESWA suspect these are serial killings. Four sex workers were killed in the past week while three additional murders were only discovered when investigations were being conducted.
El lunes 14 en el MCP se presentó la propuesta final y finalmente se aprobó y se envió el día 15 de septiembre al Fondo Mundial. El proceso participativo para la construcción de la propuesta se realizó mediante consultas en diálogos nacionales, en las que participaron representantes de distintas comunidades como trans, Trabajadoras Sexuales, PVVS, indígenas amazónicos, se realizaron en Lima 5 junio y 5 septiembre en función de las regiones que se van a intervenir, con la finalidad de conocer la problemática que pudiera ser incorporada.
A male sex work organisation based in Nairobi, Kenya is set to launch Africa’s first ever savings scheme by male sex workers. HOYMAS, a member of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), will launch the savings and credit scheme (SACCO) on September 11 at an event that will include representatives from UNAIDS, SOAAIDS, the Government of Kenya as well as other organisations.
A coalition has been launched to push for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa. The Asijiki Coalition for the Decriminalisation of Sex Work is a collective consisting of sex workers, activists and human rights defenders. It was launched in Cape Town on August 27.
NSWP, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, emphatically condemns the actions of the USA’s Department of Homeland Security and federal prosecutors in New York for the raid on the offices of Rentboy.com and the arrests of seven of its staff members.
This action appears to be a blatant, morally-driven discriminatory attack on gay consensual sex. The New York Times Editorial Board have stated that the criminal complaint that resulted in this raid was ‘so saturated with sexually explicit details, it’s hard not to interpret it as an indictment of gay men as being sexually promiscuous.’ Many USA activists, LGBT community members and commentators have highlighted the increasing climate of homophobia that they identify as having accompanied the tenures of Mayor De Blasio and the Commissioner of NYPD, William Bratton.
NSWP’s opposes all forms of criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work (including sex workers, clients, third parties, families, partners and friends). The term ‘third parties’ includes managers, brothel keepers, receptionists, maids, drivers, landlords, hotels who rent rooms to sex workers and anyone else who is seen as facilitating sex work. Sex workers and our allies actively campaign for full decriminalisation of sex work for a number of reasons, including promoting safe working conditions and labour rights for sex workers; Increase access to health services and reduce sex workers’ risk of HIV and STIs; Increase sex workers’ access to justice; Reduce police abuse and violence; Help to tackle exploitation and coercion when it does occur.
Sex workers need to be able to communicate openly with clients and managers without constantly fearing arrest, police harassment or worse. Sex workers often use advertising websites to screen clients for their own safety.
The timing of this raid could not be more acutely out-of-step with the overwhelming body of evidence and the findings of international bodies such as the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, who recommend that governments should work towards the decriminalisation of sex work and The Lancet which recently published a special series on HIV and Sex Workers, which also recommends the decriminalisation of sex work.
Amnesty International’s global movement recently voted to adopt a policy to protect the human rights of sex workers, including the full decriminalisation of sex work at their International Council meeting this August. Amnesty joins a growing list of other major international agencies such as the World Health Organization, Human Rights Watch and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women in the call for decriminalisation of sex work.
You can download this 2 page statement below.
The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, (AFAO), the national body whose membership is made up of national peer-led organisations, including, Scarlet Alliance, the Australian Sex Workers’ Association; the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL); and the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA); recently published a series of articles in its flagship magazine-style publication,
Sex workers and sex worker rights activists across the world have been campaigning tirelessly these past few weeks to highlight the importance of a call for the full decriminalisation of sex work. Many sex worker groups and allies across the world wrote to Amnesty International’s Secretary General in support of the proposed policy on sex work. One such letter, from Empower Foundation in Thailand - which has been advocating for the rights of Thai sex workers for over 30 years - wrote:
“Criminalization has not led to increased human rights or reduced abuses; it has only led to more stigma and more real crimes.’
Amnesty International joins other major international agencies such as UNAIDS, WHO, Human Rights Watch, the Lancet, GAATW in the call for the full decriminalisation of sex work. Sex workers and our allies’ campaign for the full decriminalisation of sex work to: Promote safe working conditions and labour rights for sex workers; Increase access to health services and reduce sex workers’ risk of HIV and STIs; Increase sex workers’ access to justice; Reduce police abuse and violence; Help to tackle exploitation and coercion when it does occur.
NSWP membership comprises 237 sex worker-led organisations in 71 countries across the globe, including local organisations as well as national and regional networks. Our regional networks in the Global South and Global North represent many thousands of sex workers who actively oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work.
Trabajadoras Sexuales Organizadas e Independientes, Bailarinas de Table Dance, Meseras, y empleadas de diferentes lugares de trabajo, realizaron este 30 de Julio día Internacional contra la Trata de Personas, una marcha para protestar contra los operativos realizados por la Fiscalía de Trata de Personas de la Procuraduría del Distrito Federal. Con mantas y pancartas exigieron el alto a las acciones ministeriales que las victimizan y las violentan como resultado de la ley de trata de personas.
En Coatzacoalcos Veracruz se violaron los derechos de un trabajador sexual, esta violación fue debido a por vivir con VIH se le despido de su empleo que era un bar.