Earlier this month, there was news from Spain’s Catalonia region that, prior to the municipal elections that will take place in late May and the regional elections in September, a new group had been established to lobby candidates on behalf of sex workers.
Maggie de Vries on this TED Talk exposes her own life story in order to expose the stigma and discrimination around sex work.
Maggie remarks on how she had to come to terms with the life that her sister Sarah lived.
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) is currently inviting individuals with a commitment to promoting the health and human rights of sex workers to apply to volunteer with the communications and information management team. NSWP exists to uphold the voice of sex workers globally and connect regional networks advocating for the rights of female, male, and transgender sex workers. It advocates for rights based health and social services, freedom from abuse and discrimination, and self-determination for sex workers.
The Open Society Foundations have released an updated version of their 2012 brief "10 Reasons to Decriminalize Sex Work". The brief has been updated to reflect the most relevant arguments, and the latest news and evidence, that suggest the decriminalisation of sex work is the policy that best protects the rights, health, and safety of sex workers.
In yet another conflation of sex work and human trafficking, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan will no longer allow licensed strip clubs because of concerns about “human trafficking and sexual exploitation.”
The Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall announced last month that his government would reverse its decision to allow licensed strip clubs because of concerns about human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
At a meeting in St. Lucia earlier this month, NSWP member group, the Caribbean Sex Work Coalition (CSWC) was invited by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS, which is made up of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) to be part of a Regional Coordinating Mechanism.
A report for Edinburgh council’s health and social care committee has found that the city’s sex workers are facing increased health risks following a police crackdown on saunas.
In the United States, the Georgia House has approved a constitutional amendment charging strip clubs to “help combat child sex trafficking.”
The charge would be $5,000 or one percent of revenue on adult entertainment businesses, whichever is greater. The funds will apparently go towards a new commission responsible for coordinating services for victims of child trafficking, although details on this are very vague.
In late March, the Spanish parliament passed a controversial “gagging law,” (known as “ley mordaza”) which includes provisions that rights groups say infringe on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
In Spain, Catalonia is preparing for municipal elections in late May and regional elections in September. With that in mind, a new group has been established to lobby candidates on behalf of sex workers.
The Assembly of Sex Work Pro-rights Activists of Catalonia, is made up of sex workers and allies and is backed by the leftwing party CUP, and Barcelona en Comú, a coalition of parties and civic associations putting forward its own candidate for mayor in Barcelona’s municipal elections.
The Rainbow Leaders is a leadership training program, offered to activists – leaders in the Global LGBTI movement. Organisations working on sex workers' rights are also encouraged to apply!
Already more than 100 leaders have been admitted to the first three cycles. Now we are ready to start the application process for Rainbow Leaders cycle 4. Altogether 25 LGBTI leaders from different countries and regions are going to work together this fall!
Dates for Cycle 4:
PROUD, a sex workers association is organising a large demonstration of sex workers to protest against the continuing closure of window brothels in Amsterdam on Thursday April 9th. Amsterdam city council will be debating the controversial project 1012 that evening. PROUD, who represents sex workers in the Netherlands, will deliver a list of grievances and demands to the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan.
NSWP values diversity and encourages applications from individuals with sex work experience but also welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
Our core values are:
Despite repeated debunkings of the link between large sporting events and trafficking, hysteria inevitably persists in the run up to every major sport event. With Toronto’s Pan Am Games scheduled to take place in July, church groups have already begun promoting the idea that the city will see an explosion of sex trafficking cases as a result.
The #FacesOfProstitution hashtag has been filling up social media timelines since March 29th when a Sydney based sex worker started it in response to an offensive blog post by a fundamentalist Christian organisation was reposted on Mamamia, a popular Australian online women’s magazine. The hashtag trended worldwide on BBC Trending and has united sex workers across the globe in solidarity against the offensive stereotypes employed by anti-sex work campaigners to undermine the power of sex workers.
According to a report at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, on the 2nd of April, repealed the health regulation used to justify roundups and forced HIV testing of people alleged to be sex workers.
The study examined a cohort of people with HIV, in which research had already yielded two contradictory estimates of the effectiveness of ART in preventing transmission. Many of the original HIV-positive partners were infected through selling blood in non-sterile conditions between the early 1990s and 1998. In 1998, the practice was outlawed, but not before it had created a local HIV epidemic.
Viral load suppression means risk of HIV transmission is 'at most' 4% during anal sex, but final results not due till 2017.
The second large study to look at whether people with HIV become non-infectious if they are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) has found no cases where someone with a viral load under 200 copies/ml transmitted HIV, either by anal or vaginal sex.
On Wednesday, April the 1st, Premier of Ontario, Canada, Katherine Wynne said that Ontario would uphold Canada’s new prostitution law —which criminalises paying for sex, and communicating or advertising for sex—following a review by the province’s Attorney-General, Madeline Meilleur, which found the new law to be constitutional.
NSWP has published the the 11th issue of our quarterly newsletter ‘Sex Work Digest’.
You can download the 10 page Digest as a PDF below.
As the French Senate prepared to debate a proposal to criminalise the clients of sex workers on Monday, March the 30th and Tuesday March the 31st, a university study showed that the vast majority of sex workers in France are opposed to the proposed new law.
In December 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada (Bedford Decision) struck down all three sections of the Criminal Code that outlawed prostitution, on the grounds that the laws violated sex workers' right to security of the person. In other words, the laws prevented sex workers from employing precautions that would increase their safety on the job. The Court gave the government one year to make new laws.
Enacted in December, 2014, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA) makes it a crime to:
On May 1st, Thai sex worker Thanta Laovilawanyakul enters the Danish stage in Copenhagen to add a new perspective to the question; why do Westerns travel around the globe to get something as banal as sex.
One by one, people from the audience will be lead onto the stage to play different experiences with sex worker Thanta Laovilawanyakul at Betty Nansens Theatre in Copenhagen in May.
The controversial play ‘Love-Theatre’ has been developed by two Danish instructors: Tue Biering and Jeppe Kristensen.
On Tuesday the 24th of March, sex worker organisations participated in the Public Policy Forum on Violence and Health in Sexual Work in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The forum was hosted by the Domincan Republic’s first sex worker organisation, Movimiento de Mujeres Unidas (MODEMU), (United Women's Movement), and supported by the Latin America and Caribbean Sex Workers Network (REDTRASEX).