Three men who attacked Kemal Ördek (LGBTI activist and Chair of Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association) were sentenced to 7 years and 6 months imprisonment for attempted robbery.
Recently, the Tanzanian government arrested 500 suspected sex workers alongside an estimated 300 alleged clients in a police sweep that took place in March 2017. In the months of March and June 2016, sex worker communities experienced major arrests and harassment. 1,168 sex workers in various hotspots in Tanzania were imprisoned by the state.
Sex Workers in the Australian state of South Australia (SA) have welcomed a Select Committee Report recommending the Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2015 be passed without amendment. The Bill seeks to amend various pieces of legislation to decriminalise sex work, to prohibit discrimination against people who are or have worked as sex workers, to allow for certain convictions to be spent, and to provide sex workers with the same rights and protections as other workers.
Transition remains a big issue and is critical for sex workers in countries who will not be eligible for funding through the Global Fund in the future.
In order to improve working conditions of sex workers, the Amsterdam mayor opened a brothel that is supposed to be managed by sex workers. The new brothel, called My Red Light, occupies 14 “windows” across four buildings in Amsterdam’s red light district. About 40 sex workers will be able to operate out of the premises, which are being run by a foundation called My Red Light.
NSWP shares The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF)’s deep concern about the Trump Administration’s proposed 1.08 billion cut to global HIV programmes. According to MSMGF’s statement here, “vital programming for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men around the world will be slashed if the President’s proposed budget released earlier this week is approved.” Cuts to funding will also impact other key populations including sex workers, transgender people, and people who use drugs.
The 19 May is the start of the bi-annual San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Film and Arts Fest (SWFAF) taking place across San Francisco and Oakland, California. SWFAF was started in 1999 by Carol Leigh, also known as Scarlot Harlot. She is a film maker, archivist and activist who coined the term 'sex work' during a conference in 1979 or 1980 as an alternative to the phrase 'Sex Use Industry'. She wanted to place emphasis on the agency of the provider rather than the customer, and the term has become broadly used across the globe.
In October 2016, Triple X and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DPLHS) collaborated to hold a convening in Toronto, Canada, bringing together 50 sex workers and health providers from all across the country to discuss concerns and share information regarding the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) - a once daily pill that is prescribed to reduce the risk of HIV infection.
The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women has published issue 8 of the Anti-Trafficking Review 'Where's the Evidence?'. This issue "explores the role of evidence, research and data in anti-trafficking work and how they influence our understanding of trafficking and responses to it. Seven thematic articles and four debates examine the evidence that is used - or rejected - in the formation of national anti-trafficking policies, as well as the role of monitoring and evaluation and statistics."
Sex workers in Kenya’s coastal town of Mombasa have urged the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the murder of one of their colleagues in a hotel last month. During a peaceful demonstration in protest to the growing number of killings of sex workers in the area, the sex workers urged the police to act swiftly.
In March 2007, Polk County Police Department engaged in 'Operation March Madness' a sting resulting in the arrests of 104 people, including 38 sex workers, 51 clients and 14 for related charges. Polk county has a reputation for large scale stings to get media attention. In the same county Operation 'Trick or Treat' arrested 95 sex workers and clients on Christmas Eve 2015. It came under criticism for the targeted ridiculing of transgender people by the Sheriff by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
According to the Hungarian legislation on misdemeanor offenses, it is prohibited to arrest someone if this means their underage children will be left without a legal guardian. Despite this regulation, SZEXE, the Hungarian sex worker organisation, reports that there are many sex workers who get drawn into a misdemeanor proceeding and are held in detention for 72 hours before their trial. While they are in detention, their children do not have a legal guardian.
Sex workers in South Korea are fighting an eviction project supported by a local council. This project will push sex workers out of their work places. It has been reported that Cheongnyangni is now being targeted as part of a “long-term trend in which visible signs of vice are being scrubbed from the capitals streets ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, a mountainous area a few hours northeast of Seoul.” Sex workers in various countries have often be targeted in so called ‘city clean ups’ by governments hosting Olympic Games.
In the wake of several human rights officials being denied entry to West Papua, The UN Special Rapporteur for Health, Dainius Puras’, officially visited West Papua last week. Human Rights Watch notes, “Indigenous sex workers in West Papua are being impacted by a HIV epidemic and lack of adequate healthcare amidst wider systematic denials of human rights and violence perpetrated by the Indonesian military and mining companies.”
On 8 April 2017 in Paris, sex workers protested the new law that criminalises clients, marking the 1-year anniversary of the introduction of the law.
The sixty first session on the United Nations convening Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place in New York City in the United States of America from 13 - 24 March of 2017.
Penzi, who is a paralegal with “Sisters of Majengo,” a community-based organisation that promotes health and human rights for female sex workers through advocacy, trainings on sexual reproductive health and rights, economic empowerment and community outreach in Majengo, lives in an urban settlement in Kenya and has been in the business for 24 years as an indoor sex worker.
Key affected communities in India have expressed disappointment following the introduction of the “HIV/AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill,” which passed through the Rajya Sabha on 21 March. Community members have spoken out saying it allows governments to escape their obligation to provide complete treatment to people living with HIV. Article 21 [Right to Life] of the Indian Constitution was previously used to hold the government accountable and advocate for rights to life saving treatment. However, a clause in the new law means that government can argue that their commitment is to provide treatment ‘as far as possible.’
SWAN members marked the International Sex Workers’ Rights Day on 3 March and the International Women's’ Day on 8 March.
An application for mobile phones was developed for sex workers in Russia. The application is called Red Umbrella (Красный Зонт) and its goal is to inform male, female and transgender sex workers about their rights, sexually transmitted infections, about the history of sex workers’ movement in Russia and in the world.
NSWP endorses Empower Foundation, Thailand and the English Collective of Prostitutes' call for sex worker participation during the Women's Strike on 8 March. This statement is being released on International Sex Workers' Rights Day. Their statement can be found below.
NSWP is seeking to recruit a Policy Officer to support the Senior Policy Officer in developing advocacy tools and in providing input to policy documents and forums in line with the NSWP Consensus Statement and the priorities set by the NSWP Board.
Hanteo National Union (HNU), a sex workers right’s orgnaisation in Korea told the Korea Times that sex workers plan to protest if the government pushes ahead with plans to shut down their workplaces.