Global community-led networks have expressed serious concerns over the decision to name San Francisco and Oakland as host cities to the International AIDS Conference in 2020, which was announced on 13th March.
Criminalisation of sex work is an expression of stigma against sex workers and is opposed by sex workers and sex workers’ rights organisations around the world. In South Africa, the Sisonke Sex Workers’ Movement and Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) have continued to advocate for the full decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa, by raising public awareness of the human rights violations suffered by sex workers under the current outdated legal framework.
Using WhatsApp groups and other virtual networks, independent sex workers in Mexico organised a workshop with two main goals: to build community and to learn things that mainstream gynaecology often hides.
After several years of intensified focus on gathering biometric data and piloting targeted surveillance methods, the Chinese government has established a large police force with the technology to enable a mass detention of sex workers, drug users and Uyghur people, a Muslim ethnic
Sex workers and sex worker rights’ organisations have strongly criticised the verdict and handling of the case of CJ Palmer, a trans woman and former sex worker who was convinced of grievous bodily harm in January 2018. CJ was convicted on the charge, after four hours of deliberation, in relation to her ex-partner testing positive for HIV, and has been remanded in a men’s prison awaiting sentencing on 16th February. She has already spent 9 months in the same men’s prison awaiting trial.
NSWP mourns the passing of Laura Lee, a prominent and respected sex worker rights advocate who passed away on 7th February 2018.
The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) has launched a global survey to inform their strategic planning 2018-2022. They are keen to hear from people living with HIV around the world to learn more about the situation in different countries, including issues relating to treatment access, stock outs, discrimination in health settings, and arrests - including for carrying condoms, distributing syringes, or having sex while HIV positive.
A little more than a year ago, Romina Rosales, a Latin migrant 43-year-old sex worker, started “Queens of the Underworld”, a non-profit organisation based in L.A., California. According to their website, the organisation “provides community for women-identifying and femme sex workers that serves as a resource for learning coping-skills and self-care”.
Sex workers took to the streets in Kisii, Kenya, demanding action against the killers of their colleague Jescah, known as Msupa Brown. Jescah was reportedly gang-raped before being brutally murdered in December last year. The sex workers, who came from various parts of the country, demonstrated to stand in solidarity with local sex workers following the heinous killings in Kisii.
December saw another raid on a sex workers’ workplace in Tel Aviv, with 11 people arrested on charges of running a ‘prostitution ring'. The raids targeted a number of workplaces around the city’s old central bus station.
The Anti-Trafficking Review, published by the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, is seeking submissions for a themed issue entitled 'Sex Work'. The deadline for submissions is Friday 8th June 2018.
Call for Papers
The 23rd-25th November was the 14th meeting of Encuentro Feminista de Latino América y el Caribe (Feminist Meeting from Latin America and the Caribbean, known as ‘EFLAC’), which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. Many groups of women from all over the region attended, including more than 30 sex workers from different countries like Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Panamá, México, Honduras, and Nicaragua. The meeting’s motto was “Diverse but not Dispersed”.
Zi Teng, a sex worker-led organisation in Hong Kong, has marked International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, which falls each year on 17th December.
A Member of Parliament in Malawi, Frank Mwenifumbo, has urged the government to legalise sex work and ensure there are different support systems around it. The MP claimed a lot of people in the country rely on the sex trade. “We see young ladies and young men standing along our streets for this purpose. Why can we not legalise it? We are in denial and yet it is there in the open that we have people depending on commercial sex” he said.
A member of County Assembly for a ward in Nairobi has put forward a motion prohibiting commercial sex in the city, which was passed by a vote on Friday 1st December.
A new sex worker-led organisation is taking its first steps in Mexico. In only four months they have held several important activities, including joining RedTraSex as members.
The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health or development issue in the world. It continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights. The 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS2018) will be hosted in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 23-27 July 2018.
NSWP and our members are promoting meaningful participation and visibility of sex workers at AIDS2018. NSWP encourages sex worker-led organisations to get involved with the range of events at AIDS2018. This document covers the ways sex workers can get involved.
Every year on 1st December the world marks World AIDS Day. Globally sex workers are disproportionately affected by HIV, with UNAIDS estimating prevalence among sex workers as twelve times greater than the general population. This year, SWAN (Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network) together with ICRSE (International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe) issued a joint statement for World AIDS Day, and SWAN members marked the day with various different events.
A man has been sentenced to 3 years in prison after a Singaporean court found that he paid a migrant sex worker using counterfeit notes that he made himself at home. In October 2017, Daniel Wong was convicted on two charges of counterfeiting and using the home-printed S$100 counterfeit notes. He was handed a 3-year sentence, though each charge was punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Three months ago, attorney and Columbian legislator Clara Leticia Rojas González (known as Clara Rojas), began campaigning for new legislation which would fine people who pay for sex with up to $23,000,000 Colombian pesos (around $7,500 US dollars). This proposal has been strongly condemned by Colombian sex workers, activists and academics.
The Sex Workers Academy Africa (SWAA) has held its fifteenth session, with eighteen activists from different countries graduating at a ceremony held in Nairobi in October 2017.
In their concluding observations to Russia’s sixth periodic review produced on 6 October 2017, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) recommended that Russia decriminalise sex work. This recommendation was the result of advocacy by NSWP member Silver Rose, a sex worker organisation in St. Petersburg.
A spa and sauna house used by gay men in Jakarta has become the latest target of an ongoing police crackdown against sex workers and the LGBT community in Indonesia. On 6 October 2017, 51 men were arrested and detained, with media reporting that some could face up to six years in prison under pornography and sex work laws.
In June 2017, Nicaragua became the third country in Central America to have a sex workers’ union recognised by the Ministry of Labour, after Colombia and Guatemala. In Nicaragua, the sex workers’ union is attached to the Confederation of Self-Employed Workers.