APNSW respond to Equality Now: "we are of the view that sex workers have the right to consent, and to have their consent respected".
The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) has resoundingly criticised Equality Now's campaign, noting "This offensive campaign by Equality Now is an attempt to silence sex workers and replace us with hand-picked 'survivors', to advance the view that all sex work is 'violence against women'.
They state, "We reject the Swedish Model because it is de facto criminalisation of sex work. The intent behind this model is to eradicate the sex industry worldwide, leaving millions sex workers without a livelihood. We are of the view that sex workers have the right to consent and to have their consent respected. The idea that women’s consent can be ignored perpetuates gender inequality. The idea that it is okay to ignore a woman’s consent because she is in sex work ignores the fact that women have rights based on multiple identities."
They also highlight: "We note with interest that Equality Now did not tender a submission to the Commission." Sex workers and sex worker-led groups within Asia Pacific were intergral to the formation of the reports, and APNSW state: "The evidence shows that if sex workers are empowered to realise their human rights, abuses within the sex industry can be addressed through labour rights and legal recognition."
APNSW join the African Sex Workers Alliance, the National Network of Sex Workers India, and NSWP in releasing statements in responsr to Equality Now's attack on the human rights of sex workers. Each of those statements can be read at the respective links.