The 17th Sex Worker Academy Africa (SWAA) has begun in Nairobi with 16 participants from three countries taking part.
New Zealand must repeal its ban on migrant sex workers to ensure the benefits of its decriminalisation model are extended to all sex workers, says NSWP member organisation the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.
Last weekend in Halifax at their biannual national convention, the Liberal Party voted yes to a resolution for consensual sex work decriminalisation. The resolution was presented by the party’s youth caucus, the Young Liberals of Canada, and is part of several resolutions that push for a more progressive Liberal Party. The Liberal Party are currently the largest party in Canadian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Trudeau.
On Friday 20th April, 3 members of NSWP member Avenir Jeune de l'Ouest (AJO) were arrested at their offices in Dschang, Cameroon, following a raid by police. A further two members were arrested on Saturday 21st April, and have since been held at Dschang Central Police station. AJO reported that the members were not given reason for their detention and suffered violence and aggression at the hands of the police.
A new security application, Artemis' Umbrella, has been developed for sex workers in Finland, and can be used anywhere in the world. The app alerts a trusted contact when sex workers are in trouble, and uses location services to track the smart phone.
Efforts to resist the closing of strip clubs in the US are ongoing. Recent police raids have prompted a spotlight on New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) in recent months, as NOLA-based sex workers speak out against “tough on crime” politics affecting their right to work safely.
On 27th February, the House of Representatives passed a new Bill affecting sex workers in the United States: H.R. 1865 [Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017], known as 'FOSTA'. This bill makes it a federal crime for online platform providers to 'facilitate sex trafficking', also criminalising the users of these sites.
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.