“The sex worker community has really stepped up,” says Alex Andrews when referring to the success of SWOP Behind Bars, which launched in late April of 2016. “It’s so awesome to see sex workers do tangible things like donating a book to an incarcerated sex worker and writing a letter. I mean that’s a lost art!
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Quito has many organisations of sex workers, including "Por un Futuro Mejor" association with 280 members, "Esperanza Futuro" with more than 60 members, and "1° de Mayo" with more than 60 partners. In April they created a coalition to engage in dialogue with national and municipal authorities. The municipality has proposed to displace sex workers outside of the city, including the Cantera brothel in the historic district of Quito. The municipality would like to move sex workers from outdoor and visible locations into indoor and private locations.
Sex workers in Victoria, Australia are speaking out for the second time to highlight the ways they are blocked from or denied justice. On the 26th March 2015 serial rapist and murderer, Adrian Bayley was convicted of the rape of a sex worker that he had committed in 2000. However, on the 13th of July 2016 the Victorian Court of Appeal overturned it. The decision was labeled “disgusting” by Crime Victims Support Association President Noel McNamara who echoed statements made by sex workers, explaining how a message is being sent that crimes against sex workers will not be taken seriously.
In May of 2009, Marcia Powell died after being tortured in an Arizona prison. She was a 48-year-old woman who was sentenced to 27 months in prison for doing street based sex work.
A regional training on the SWIT (Sex Worker Implementation Tool) took place in Budapest on 21-25 June 2016. Teams from 7 countries attended the training: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia. Among them were female, male and transgender sex workers.
On the 7th of June, armed police and “NVaders” a rescue organisation from New Zealand targeted “Nataree” – a brothel that employs 400 sex workers in Bangkok. The joint forces conducted a raid and apprehended 121 sex workers who were working at the time. Media were invited to film the raid.
Sharmus Outlaw, declared Most Amazing HIV-Positive People of 2016 by HIV Plus Magazine, died on the 8th of July from cancer. Outlaw is currently being honoured by her devoted colleagues at the Desiree Alliance Conference for the very session she planned: Trans Rights, Sex Work, HIV, Resilience and Organizing.
On the 20th of May in Brantford, Ontario (Canada), a report was released by Dr. Stacey Hannem and the organisation REAL that assesses the needs of rural sex workers. The report is called “Let’s Talk About Sex Work: Report of the REAL working group for Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk. Assessing the Needs of Sex Workers in Our Communities.” The full report is available here.
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.
The Desiree Alliance Conference is an event many sex workers and allies attend if they are capable of travelling to and within the United States. It is an opportunity to network, skill share, learn and advocate for the rights of sex workers. This year’s conference is from 10-15 July, 2016 in New Orleans. The preliminary conference schedule is available here.
The Africa Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), Sisonke, and the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) is delighted to invite sex workers from around the world who will be attending the International AIDS Conference (AIDS2016) in Durban, South Africa from 18-22 July 2016 to join us at a sex worker pre-meeting on Sunday 17th July 2016.
A majority of Members of Parliament (MPs) in Holland are supporting plans to make it an offence to pay for sex if sex workers are known or suspected to be victims of human trafficking. Sex work itself is legal in Holland.
On the 26th of May, 2016 in Machala, Ecuador a meeting took place with the Governor, local authorities, brothel owners, leaders of the Asociación 22 de Junio, Flor de Azalea, PLAPERTS Ecuador and 80 female sex workers. There was a protest to reject the new schedule for the tolerance zones for sex work. The proposed schedule would only allow for sex work to occur from Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 20:00.
Sex work in Peru is not a crime, but sex workers are often treated as criminals. Ana Mamani and Norma Diaz from Arequipa, Peru share their struggle to combat the conflation between sex work and human trafficking with NSWP’s Latin America Regional Correspondent.
On the 11th of June, Canadian sex workers and their allies are mobilising in a National Day of Action. In June of 2013, as a response to Bedford v. Canada and the lack of sex worker representation during the debates around anti-sex work legislation being introduced, sex workers, sex worker rights groups and their allies across the country came together to raise awareness around the need for evidence-based sex work law reform.
Esta actualización es parte la financiación de Robert Carr Civil Society Networks para ofrecer talleres de Fondo Global en colaboración con los miembros de la NSWP. Habrá tres actualizaciones más durante el año que la NSWP compartirá con los miembros.
Новостные сводки рассылаются в рамках работы по гранту от Фонда сетей гражданского общества Роберта Карра. Цель гранта – в сотрудничестве с членами НСВП провести обучающие семинары, посвященные работе с Глобальным фондом. В течение года НСВП пришлет еще три сводки новостей.
Le Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund finance la mise en œuvre des ateliers du Fonds mondial en collaboration avec les membres du NSWP ; ce bulletin est produit dans le cadre de ces financements. Trois bulletins supplémentaires seront produits cette année par le NSWP et seront diffusés aux membres.
This following text has been translated by NSWP’s European Regional Correspondent. The text is from a petition entitled “Punish Vyacheslav Datsika of Beatings and Abuse of Sex Workers in St. Petersburg!” on Change.org. NSWP member Silver Rose encourages the global sex work community to sign this petition. NSWP has reported on the violence experienced by sex workers in Russia during this incident here.
During the night of 17th to 18th of May, Viacheslav Datsik and his supporters illegally raided a brothel (known as a “salon” in Russia) in St Petersburg where 10 sex workers were working. The salon was on the 11th Line of Vasilyevsky Island. He broke down the door and under the threat of beating the women working there he forced them to undress completely, and then took them to the police naked.
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.
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.
In Mexico, sex work is considered a public health problem because it is associated with the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Due to this, health regulation is based on reducing or eliminating the effects of sex work on the general population, through mandatory health checks and sanitary control. This comes at a high economic cost for sex workers and violates their human rights.
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.