Who do you work with?:
CSO has its project office, drop-in centre and a vocational/social support centre in the red light area of the biggest city of Pakistan. CSO has been providing primary health care, VCCT for HIV & AIDS and STIs, mobile based social/medical services and prevention services to all types of female, male and hijra sex for the last 10 years.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
CSO has implemented a UNFPA-funded project for HIV prevention among FSW/MSW during the past 3 years. Currently the same project is being implemented but funded by the Government of Pakistan. All project field and services implementing staff consist of sex workers. Advocacy and consensus is mandatory with sex workers in all issues.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
Sex work is illegal in Pakistan and socially not acceptable at any level and by all stake holders of governance. Due to this the attitude and behaviour of law enforcement agencies and the media is one of the biggest challenges faced by sex workers. These attitudes and behaviours are characterised by abuse, harassment and imprisonment of sex workers. Secondly, there has been a rise in the number of girls under 18 involved in sex work. This group is particularly vulnerable to HIV due to an increase in the number of clients and clients' refusal to wear condoms.
Describe other areas of your work:
CSO is also providing institution based care and support, community and home based care to people living with HIV & AIDS and their families.
Furthermore, CSO is also working on other high risk groups for HIV and AIDS prevention.