Regional updates: Asia and the Pacific

Many of the organisations in the Asia and the Pacific network are also members of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW).

Board members

Kaythi Win, Founder of AMA, National Network of Sex Work Projects, Myanmar and working for APNSW.

Fatimah Abdullah, Chair of APNSW, Malaysia.

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Sex workers’ organisations have raised concerns about a new anti-trafficking law in India, called the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill. Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi introduced the bill in India on the 31st of May.

29th June 2016 by NSWP

Dancers in Mumbai are apprehensive about new laws that passed on the 13th of April 2016. The new laws have stringent conditions that limit dancers’ ability to earn a decent wage. The new laws do not address many of the concerns that Bar Dancers have raised.

18th May 2016 by NSWP

The Australian State Government of New South Wales has continued its support for decriminalisation. Sex workers were concerned the inquiry into brothel regulation that begun in 2015 could have resulted in the introduction of a licensing framework and/or a specialised police squad for the sex industry. These measures would end decriminalisation, despite its documented success since it was introduced in 1995.

17th May 2016 by NSWP

HIV/AIDS Research and Welfare Centre (HARC) organised a three-day workshop for sex workers in Bangladesh from the 17th to 19th of April, 2016. A total of thirty-nine sex workers took part in the workshop in Rajshahi, a city in northwest Bangladesh close to the border with India. APNSW Regional Coordinator Kay Thi Win, and Consultant Habib Rahman facilitated the workshop.

12th May 2016 by NSWP

Empower Thailand and the Thai Embassy in Sweden have both issued statements in response to the Swedish magazine OTTAR.  On the 3rd of March 2016, OTTAR published an interview with Kasja Ekis Ekman, which referred to Thai sex workers as “cheap pussy.”

29th April 2016 by NSWP

A session called “Reclaiming Rights: Sex Workers Speak” was held on the first day of the 12th International Conference on AIDS in the Asia Pacific (ICAAP)  in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The conference ran from the 12 -14 of March.  

14th April 2016 by NSWP

Sex Workers in West Bengal are using the upcoming election to remind politicians they need to keep their promises. Sex workers may exercise the ‘none of the above option’ (NOTA) on ballots to tell politicians that they are not happy with them. Many politicians have not shown commitment to taking action on the demands of sex worker-led organisations, as reported by The Statesman.

6th April 2016 by NSWP

Members from five Pacific countries met with the APNSW Secretariat in November 2015. Representatives from Friends Frangipani (Papua New Guinea), New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC), Survivors Advocacy Network (SAN-Fiji), Scarlet Alliance (Australia) and $carlet Timor Collective (Timor-Leste) took part in the meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

5th April 2016 by NSWP

Yesterday, the Constitutional Court in South Korea ruled 6 to 3 to reject a petition to overturn the ‘Anti-Sex Trade Laws’. The laws state that anyone found guilty of buying or selling sex will face up to one year in prison or be fined up to 3 million Won (approximately 2,300 EURO or 2,600 USD).  

1st April 2016 by NSWP

On the 3rd of March, International Sex Worker's Rights Day, sex workers across India gathered to ask that their human rights be respected.

Members of the All India Network of Sex Workers asked for understanding and respect of sex workers from government and civil society. Their campaign called for workers’ rights, a society free from discrimination and violence, an understanding of the difference between trafficking and sex work, inclusion in policy making processes and the decriminalisation of sex work.             

29th March 2016 by NSWP