Asia and the Pacific

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Swedish NGO Under Investigation for Creating Fake 'Rescue' Stories to Solicit Donations

A Swedish NGO, Love and Hope (formerly LoveNepal) in Nepal collected donations from Swedish people based on false claims of “saving children from brothels” and posting photographs on social media of three girls they claimed to be sex workers.

Reflections on Reporting to the CEDAW Committee by Empower Thailand

This report by Empower Foundation Thailand describes the organisation’s experience submitting a shadow report to and attending the CEDAW committee’s 67th session in Summer, 2017.  The report includes detailed information on all stages of Empower’s engagement with CEDAW, including their goals for engagement, drafting their report, and participating in formal and informal CEDAW sessions in Geneva.

Empower Thailand CEDAW Shadow Report

Empower Foundation Thailand submitted this shadow report to the 67th CEDAW session, which took place in July 2017. The report focuses on raids against entertainment industry establishments, which are perpetuated by the conflation of sex work and trafficking. The report details entrapment and police violence during raids, as well as lack of access to a fair trial, labour protections, and health for Thai sex workers. A detailed report on their experiences engaging with the CEDAW committee is also available here.

Twelve Sex Workers Escaped from Ujjwala House in Hyderabad India

Twelve sex workers escaped from Ujjwala House in Hyderabad India, where they had been detained for months following a raid on their workplaces. Thirty-two women are housed in the so called shelter, which claims to "rehabilitate" and "rescue" sex workers.

Chinese Government to Crackdown on VPNs and Livestreaming Websites

In November 2017, the National Party Congress for the Chinese Communist Party may put pressure on the Chinese President, Xi Jinping to shutdown popular media platforms. While the current President is predicted to be re-elected for another five-year term, the crackdown on content on social media, as well as internet users ability to hide their identity from the government through VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections is in line with previous approaches and responses taken by his government.

Usha Cooperative Bank in India Alarmed at Introduction of GST on Sanitary Napkins in India

Spokespeople from the Usha Multipurpose Cooperative Society, a cooperative bank run by sex workers in India, have told media how the introduction of an 18 percent GST (Goods and Services Tax) on sanitary napkins in India will negatively impact their community.

Raids in Singapore and Condoms Being Used as Evidence

NSWP member organisation Project X have urged people to “scrutinise and seriously question the visual representation of sex workers in Singaporean mainstream media.” The call comes following several high profile raids on sex workers' workplaces in recent months, and subsequent stigmatising media coverage of the events. In a post on their Facebook page, Project X describe the media coverage as a “method of shaming” which “not only dehumanises the women in question, it also turns the matter into a one-sided conversation in which sex workers are ridiculed, talked about and talked at.”

Proposed Bylaw to Push Sex Workers Out of their Neighbourhood in Christchurch, New Zealand

The New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) have cautioned the local city council in Christchurch, New Zealand against taking the approach of introducing a new by law pushing sex workers out of their workspaces.

Melbourne University Building to be Renamed after Student Campaigning

The building at the entrance to Melbourne University, Australia, will no longer bear the name of its condemned former head of anatomy, and Dean of Medicine, Richard Berry. Berry actively lobbied for the "sterilisation, segregation and the lethal chamber" of sex workers, Indigenous peoples, and other marginalised people who he claimed to be of "rotten heredity." The renaming of the building is the result of long-standing campaign by a group of staff and students.