Memorial to Andrew Hunter
Tributes to Andrew's life and work
Mourning the death of Andrew Hunter, NSWP President
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects mourns the loss of Andrew Hunter, our President and one of the founding members of APNSW and NSWP who died in Bangkok on 26th December 2013.
His sudden death is an enormous loss to the sex workers rights and HIV treatment activist movement, and leaves us without words at this moment as the tears flow.
Our heart and thoughts are with Dale his long-term partner, his friends and family at this devastating time.
NSWP will continue to collect and post tributes to his life on this memorial page, if you have memories to share please email them to secretariat AT nswp DOT org.
Andrew Hunter was a truly remarkable man, who many of us had the pleasure and privilege of knowing and loving. He was a brilliant activist who campaigned tirelessly for more than 25 years around issues that affect sex workers, people living with HIV, drug users, transgender men and women, and gay men.
Andrew worked for the Prostitute's Collective of Victoria (PCV) coordinating the male sex worker project and setting up the first community run needle exchange in Australia. He was one of the founding members of Scarlet Alliance and worked as Coordinator of the Queensland Intravenous Aids Association (QUIVAA). It was in 1994 that Andrew attended the International AIDS Conference in Yokohama where the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) was founded by sex workers from the region. Later, he worked with young homeless people in Brisbane's inner city as HIV Project officer, often adopting a mediation role between young people and authority figures.
Andrew has the honour of having failed one of Sheila Jeffrey’s courses in Revolutionary Women's Studies at Melbourne University when he wrote a history of the PCV which, it is reported, she had promptly thrown in the bin. Andrew was a pioneering leader within the sex worker rights movement and a relentless HIV and AIDS treatment advocate and activist who had studied Human Rights and Bioethics at Monash University in Australia.
Most recently Andrew was working with APNSW and was the President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), both of which he was one of the founding members of. He was on the Board of Women's Network for Unity in Cambodia where he was involved with the management of the Community Legal Service, a sex worker run legal service. Andrew was also an active member of the Communities Delegation to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and a member of the Global Fund Human Rights Reference Group, driving forward the campaign to have the human rights of sex workers the world over recognised and for sex workers to be at the forefront of HIV policy discussions, design, implementation and evaluation. He was instrumental in ensuring that major international agencies such as the Global Fund and the United Nations take seriously the interests and concerns of sex workers and others who are ignored by or excluded from society and in doing so ensure that these groups’ human rights are respected and upheld.
Andrew was a visionary leader who challenged and debunked commonly held misperceptions, prejudices and assumptions about sex workers, drug users and other marginalised communities. He mentored activists, developing and inspiring new advocates and leaders not only in his own region but globally. Even in his absence he will continue to inspire and strengthen the sex worker rights movement.
The long journey didn’t tire us as much has your parting.
It seems like a long road ahead. Without you a much darker path it is.
Our dreams of a better world brought us together.
That journey seems adrift and that dream so far away; without you by our side.
We pause to remember you. We Mourn your Passing.
We Rejoice your Memory. We Cherish your Vision.
But Move on We Must.
For In the Unceasing Journey Alone Lies Our Silent Tribute to You!
Tell me this is not true. RIP Andrew in the knowledge that having dedicated your entire adult life to social justice and the rights of sex workers, you made a difference in the lives of so many. You were and will remain one of the most loved and respected activists and mentors in our movement. My love and thoughts with you Dale.
I awoke this morning to learn of the tragic and sudden death in Bangkok yesterday of my friend and fellow sex worker rights activist Andrew Hunter. It is hard to find the words to express my grief. However, Andrew's passing is not just my loss but he leaves a great big hole in the hearts and minds of the global network of sex workers. Andrew was a friend and mentor to many and had devoted his entire adult life to social justice and championing the rights and giving voice to some of the most marginalised and vulnerable sex workers in the world. He made you feel proud to be a sex worker and an activist. I was privileged to spend a little time with Andrew earlier this year while he was visiting Sydney with Dale and again in Bangkok. He was the same passionate man I first met in 1987 or thereabouts - hell-bent on making a difference and as committed as ever. I will always remember him saying to me at dinner in Bangkok when we were reminiscing about the good old days of the hard work and hard playing we undertook in the formative years of the development of our respective organisations (PCV Vic and the APC NSW) "you know Julie, I was only 19." It had never occurred to me that he was so young at the time, he had such a head for organising and knew instinctively how to engage with others and bring them along for the ride so to speak. Empowering others to take pride in their own sex working lives and to stay safe. Vale Andrew Hunter, rest in peace in the knowledge that you have made a whole lot of difference in the lives of so many who today shed many tears as we try to come to terms with your loss. Never forgotten.
It's been so terribly hard for me to post anything about Andrew Hunter up until now because I just still can't come to terms with him passing. Nonetheless, I did find it within me finally to honour his memory by sharing some of the amazing contributions he has made to the sex worker rights movement globally.
Most sex worker rights activists know Andrew more recently through his work with APSNSW and NSWP...but I want to take you all back to where it all started in Australia. I dug up a copy of the very first ever Scarlet Alliance newsletter – Scarlet Letters which Andrew produced and you will note it is signed by him.
At around the time that some of the state and territory based sex worker rights orgs & Scarlet were being formed there wasn't very much to base our organising, politics or agendas on. We looked to some of the activities taking place overseas but nonetheless came up with a particular Aussie way of doing sex worker rights and much of the very deep political thinking was inspired and thought through by Andrew Hunter.
Some of the elements that we were very dogmatic about and prioritised were the centrality of a sex worker voice & involvement in anything that affected us, the need to stay relevant and not lose touch with the grass roots membership, rights and political organising, and solidarity with sex worker rights organisations internationally. Andrew contributed greatly to all of this thinking and we did manage to balance our political agendas with direct service provision to our constituencies.
I think the strength of the intellectual whores and supporters who were around at this time and in particular Andrew have created a legacy where much of what was debated then still stands as policy for the Scarlet Alliance and many around the world have adopted.
I could go on and on but there is no doubt that Andrew Hunter was and will be a giant of the local, regional and global sex worker rights movement. He will be sadly missed for the intellectual rigour of his contributions and I will miss some of this on a personal level as well. Andrew, in particular I shall miss the sending of e-books online. Just recently we had been discussing groups of people who are subjects of states and capitalist economies and the multiple ways we/they try to avoid being governed, including sex workers, drug users etc...We debated the idea of resisting state control and resisting being a cog in the dominant economy and the governing morality and that this is an interesting lens through which to look at certain aspects of sex work and staying alive outside of state (bank) control.
Forever thankful to have experienced the passion and intelligence Andrew shared in this life. A kick-ass person and an amazing firework who inspired me and others to act bravely - as our living, true selves - to be seen, heard and eventually understood.
Andrew and I constantly swapped Rescue-Industry stories and had many a laugh together about those on a mission to save us all from sin. When I heard he was gone I instantly felt how much I would miss the depth of his experience.
I will not be there but I will be thinking of you all, and Andrew. In times like this I turn to poetry and here is something which reminds me so well of Andrews’s spirit...
Activism is not issue-specific.
It’s a moral posture that, steady state,
propels you forward, from one hard
hour to the next.
Believing that you can do something
to make things better, you do
something, rather than nothing.
And Andrew did this ...
You assume responsibility for the
privilege of your abilities.
You do whatever you can.
You reach beyond yourself in your
imagination, and in your wish for
understanding, and for change.
You admit the limitations of individual
You trust somebody else.
You do not turn away.
And Andrew always lived this
The sex worker rights movement has lost a soul.
I hope we are challenged to be kinder to one another in a very small in number, but growing sex worker rights movement. Let's keep the pressure on at all fronts for people centred law reform and rights for sex workers! Andrews politics helped inform many intriguing insights into sex work and rights politics! I shall miss his anarchic intelligence and challenge. Let's Honour him by continuing our activism in all our corners! I taught him some Gale and he taught me some Stralian! RIP Andrew - condolences to Dale and all his families.
Until this moment I have not seemed to believe that Andrew has left us forever. The last time I meet him in Cambodia November 2013, still fresh in my memory, all the learning processes that Andrew given to me. All his hard work to do the sex workers movement into a social movement. Putting the group of sex workers into who have an interest in the based on Human Right program all over the world. Sharpshooter advocacy strategies he played beautiful approach to the officials and decision makers and at the same time his approach to the community with very friendly. We love you and will always love you Andrew Hunter. We will continue your struggle to realize the dream for humanity of KAPs. Respite in the realm of eternity. My heart and thoughts are with Dale his long-term partner, his family, Tracey and all friends at this devastating time.
A big loss! I remember a lot of situations where act in a brilliant way to defend the sex workers right, always with passion! All power and energy to Dale in this difficult time!
This post is in loving memory of an old friend Andrew Hunter. I worked with him 15 years ago at Brisbane Youth Service and we kept in contact since. He moved to Thailand over 10 years ago and found peace and great happiness with his partner Dale. He continued his work as an activist for the dignity and respect of sex workers globally. He worked across international boundaries, from street level through to the highest levels of government. He passionately advocated not just for the right to safe workplaces and community respect for sex workers, but taught us to, stop, listen and learn from the experiences and perspectives of others. Andrew had a brilliant, insightful mind and a beautiful, gentle heart. he also looked great in silver flares!! He was witty and expansive in his thinking, never afraid to speak his truth and cut through bullshit! He challenged us to debunk our prejudices and assumptions, Andrew had little tolerance for blind privilege or lazy thinking. He had this incredible ability to touch your life and help you see things in new ways. He was a friend, mentor and greatly influenced my evolving perspective on life. I wish his partner Dale, his dear friend Tracey Tully and all other close friends and family comfort and wisdom during this sad time. Andrew was a gift to humanity and I honour him for this. His death is a great loss to those who knew him and to the global community. Farewell old friend!
The news of Andrew’s passing has left us shocked and deeply saddened.
Andrew’s exceptional and tireless dedication to advance human rights for sex workers was unassailable. In our recent joint work to enhance engagement of civil society and key populations in Global Fund processes at country level, Andrew’s contributions were instrumental; always grounded in real-life experiences and unquestionable principles of community engagement.
His intellect, piercing wit and strong sense of social justice have made a tremendous impact in improving the quality of life of countless people in many countries. Andrew’s remarkable leadership inspired many fellow advocates, within communities of people living with HIV, sex workers and beyond.
Our thoughts are with you, Dale, Andrew's parents, other family members, friends and colleagues. We will miss Andrew and will remember him always.
Guyana Sex Work Coalition is saddened at the loss of our colleague and President of the Global Network of Sex Work Project Mr Andrew Hunter. Mr Hunter has been a strong activist and Human Rights Defender for the inclusion of Sex Workers globally and his sudden demise has left us in a vacuum. Mr Hunter's work has been embedding in many pockets of the world and he has made many enemies because of that but with those enemies he became a tower of strength to bargain with. He has made the Global Sex Work movement a recognizable industry and his life and work will live on.
We sympathize with his family, NSWP and all its supporters, Dale and Andrew's friends. May God grant his soul eternal rest. Wherever you may be Mr Hunter our hearts is with you and as much as we mourn over your lost we are gifted with your life, love, memories and hard fought contributions.
My dear Andrew I'm falling apart with the idea I'll never speak to you or hold you again I loved and admired you - shared an amazing journey that nobody would believe you even saved my life once I can never fill the void in my life now that your gone sweetheart what are we to do without you? I love you Andrew and miss you so so much the pain is unbearable I'll see you again one day give Brett a hug goodbye my friend. XXXXXX
Andrew Hunter Thanks for your teaching, thank you for getting involved, for helping me grow. I will take Always in my heart as the great friend you are. I promise to keep striving and growing not leave behind a legacy, now all your work is reflected in empowering of Sex Workers in Latin America. Your are Great and I miss you so much
Oh Andrew what are we to do without you the world will be a dimmer place without you - you were fearless when faced with injustice your brilliance shone for us all to see.... My deepest sympathy and condolences to his life partner Dale may you find the strength to get through the loss of your soul mate Andrew... Much love Diane XO
Sending a tribute out to one of the most Noble Human Beings I've ever had the Pleasure of Knowing Andrew Hunter, he was a Genius I witnessed his Brilliance many a time when faced with injustice he would eloquently put people in their place - he campaigned for Sex Workers, HIV & Transgender, Gay Rights, plus Drug Users Rights, from the podium with Hilary Clinton in Washington USA, to the Sex Workers/Heroin Addicts on the streets of St. Kilda in Melbourne Australia, or the streets of Thailand, Cambodia, India, Canada, Scotland, even Rio - Andrew gave his all never holding back he was a beautiful sensitive man with a great sense of humour and an ability to rattle off information about anything and everything without being arrogant or overbearing - many a time he cleaned up the mess of many an incompetent fool who went in with an unpractical theory & an overly professional mentality - that was more of the genius of Andrew always able to see the bigger picture - I find comfort that he was with his two dearest friends when he passed his lover Dale and his dear friend Tracey Tully whom he shared his happiest times on this earth with... Andrew I will treasure your memory forever I give thanks for knowing you I am a very rich person - even though at this moment in time the pain of knowing I'll never see you again is consuming me & I feel so empty inside its surreal - I want the World to stop and cry with us his friends - you touched so many life's for the better and I find comfort in the comments and posts from people all over the world whose life's you changed you gave so effortlessly - there will never ever be another you Andrew...
There are so many people that think they are liberal minded fighters of freedom and equality - but only a few actually have the insightful wisdom due to their intellectual capacity combined with life experience and their emotional & psychological growth of self - like brilliant geniuses of Andrew Hunter & Nelson Mandela's stature - who truly lived a life, breathing and fighting for as well as creating fairness, change and acceptance of those excluded by society & or religion because they act or look different or do things deemed unacceptable totally based on authorities inability to comprehend individualism and or the freedom of expression - due totally to authorities own inhibitions and need to cater to the populist view - which is the collective consciousness of conservative puritans with a lust for control and revenge.... We Honour Andrew Hunter & Nelson Mandela as True Humanitarians and Inspirational Role Models that we should all aspire to be like....
ASWA honours Andrew Hunter – NSWP President.
Never to be replaced
Defenceless in character
Resilient in the struggle
Humble in principle
Never to be forgotten
True in spirit
Endless wealth of Knowledge
Rest in Peace Andrew Hunter!
What I loved about Andrew was his wicked sense of humour, which he loved to deploy on bureaucrats, politicians and even other activists at times. That's what I'll remember most clearly -- the joke and the laugh at those who consistently did the wrong thing, took the wrong position, or worse than that refused to stand up for what was right out of cowardice or self-interest. He had no time for people like this.
Andrew was a fierce advocate for sex workers, but he was also a committed AIDS treatment activist. These days when too many people have siloed themselves, advocating for a narrow set of goals, Andrew saw the links between people's struggles, the shape of the broader fight which needed all of us working together. He will be missed by so many of us around the world, and here within ITPC.
Andrew Hunter was a tireless fighter for the rights of sex workers. He was passionate, high energy, willing to stand up and say what needed to be said anywhere and to anyone. Andrew had a sharp mind, a quick wit and was sometimes forceful in his approach. Nobody could or did represent the interests of sex workers in Asia and the Pacific like Andrew.
Yet underneath that fiery exterior was a very kind and compassionate man, very caring and a loyal friend. Andrew will be sorely missed in his professional work as well as by the large number of friends who loved him.
En apprenant la nouvelle de la mort d'Andrew Hunter,c'était un terrible choc,j'ai eu l'occasion de le rencontrer a Montegobay lors de la rencontre des Sex Workers au mois de septembre 2013.A plusieurs reprises, nous etions assis a causer,c'etait un chic homme, ouvert au dialogue, il m'a laisse de bonnes impressions. J'en profite de l'occasion aux noms de toutes les Sex Workers de l'ANAPFEH pour adresser mes condoleances a sa famille et aux membres du reseau. Andrew, que la terre te soit legere.repose toi en paix
I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Andrew. He will be long remembered by us all for his courage and tireless efforts throughout the years he has worked to protect the rights of sex workers and promote access to HIV treatment. His commitment to AIDS and dedication to those affected by the epidemic have inspired all those who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.
My colleagues in UNAIDS join me in conveying our sincere condolences to Andrew’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.
The sex worker network the GLBT community in Fiji still speechless when we received the loss of a tremendous leader that open up the doors of our mind set the behaviour of some individual assist us to develop Fiji network of the marginalized in our country we still shock about the sad news. We want to send our condolence message to the Hunters family and especially to his loving Partner Dale. Andrew '''' you still remain in our heart Rest in peace my friend God is with you
lamentamos la perdida de un gran ACTIVISTA y defensor de los derechos humanos de las personas que ejercemos el trabajo sexual y sobre todo por el reconocimiento del trabajo sexual como un trabajo. mis mas sentido pésame pasa sus mas allegados tuve la oportunidad de estar en la mesa de trabajo sexual en la CONFERENCIA INTERNACIONAL DE VIH/SIDA EN LA CIUDAD DE MEXICO. UN GRAN SER HUMANO con cariño siempre lo recordare
This is such a great loss for APNSW, NSWP and for the sex worker rights movement. Among his other feats, Andrew was responsible for shaping understandings of sex worker activism in Australia since the 1980's and his presence is still felt here. His wit, irreverence and wisdom will be missed. Our condolences go out to Dale and Andrew's family and friends. Andrew you will be missed more than words can convey.
I met Andrew when I was working at the Open Society Foundations, and APNSW was a grantee. To say that Andrew hated the administrative aspect of our relationship would be a minor understatement. For a time, it defined our interactions ... he would see me and already have an excuse percolating in his head about why the proposal, report, etc. was late. It became a joke ... and something we could laugh about because there was never any doubt about the work that was happening. The last time I saw Andrew, it was so nice to go out and have a dinner and drink not as a donor-grantee, but as friends. Andrew was a force... never afraid to remind my privileged, often clueless self to stay focused on where the real fight for social justice happens. My thoughts are with Dale, and all the people who had the privilege to know well and love Andrew.
We will miss your leadership
Still trying to come to terms with the loss of our Hero Andrew Hunter. We would like to extend our greatest sympathy to Dale' family' friends' NSWP' and to every soul that he touched. Still mourning the loose we are celebrating his life the moments we shared with him are unforgettable' he was a wonderful man so kind! Gone so soon RIP Andrew Hunter you will forever be missed!
Andrew was a saboteur. Or so I thought. Again and again, like the eponymous Dutch factory workers of the 1400s, Andrew kept showing up cautioning against new initiatives. The 2004 PrEP study in Cambodia, a training for government officials managing Global Fund grants, small grant programs for gay men, transgender people, and sex workers in Asia and the Pacific – he was against them unless he could be personally satisfied about the intention, the process, and the benefit. In a recent Global Fund process, I noticed him being patient and I joked with him that I had almost stopped expecting a confrontational showdown from him. Andrew laughed and said that the Global Fund funding was too important to the people he cared about to not be collaborating within the system to make it work. Character contradicting caricature. Not a saboteur after all. Just a fighter for benefit and justice. What a loss.
I worked with Andrew and others on a number of APNSW projects including the Transgender Health Handbook. I also used to just drop by Doll House, as I would often pass by the soi he and Dale lived in in Bangkok. Andrew would always ask: Did you go to the sauna or the theatre? I would usually laugh and say: I wish. He literally lived meters away from a "second class" theatre where men who needed to get off could and a very popular local sauna. Andrew was always ready to hand out a cigarette and complain about the shit happening with funders. He had a way of rolling his eyes and waving his hands in a dismissive manner. Most of all, I will miss his unapologetic bitchiness.
Andrew Hunter reinforced the reality that doing the most impactful research necessitates leadership by those that one aims to serve through their work. Andrew Hunter regularly provided constructive criticism to ensure that the work that we as academics are doing that concerns sex workers around the world is the best possible science in that it results in meaningful improvements to lives and wellbeing of sex workers. I feel lucky to have met Andrew early in my career as it will forever shape how I will work moving forward.
One big and loud voice is gone, can we replicate such voices in different continents, regions, countries so that we RIGHT the wrongs against sex workers.
We mourn him and may his gallant soul rest in peace.
I am so sad… I was worried, but never imagined he was so sick. Besides being so brave he was one of the very sweetest people in our movement, supportive and encouraging! I think of Dale and my heart reaches out.
We all lost an extraordinary advocate, a true fighter whose strength, dedication and determination to make the world better place for sex workers and people living with HIV, set a genuine example for the rest of us. Many of us lost a mentor, an emphatic and supportive friend whose company will be missed forever. We send our sincerest condolences to his partner, family and friends in these difficult times. Rest in peace Andrew and thank you for everything. We will honor your legacy by continuing and enhancing the work you were doing.
I want to express my gratitude at having had the chance to know and work with Andrew, a courageous and smart advocate and inspiring colleague. There are few people who are able to leave their mark in every meeting, every advocacy effort, every campaign, but Andrew was one of those few. I remember more than once being in rooms where when Andrew talked about the situation in sex workers in Asia, it was impossible for the conversation to continue as it was before. What a terrible loss for human rights advocacy and for all who were and who would have been inspired and touched by his work.
Having meet Andrew in Istanbul, and so enjoying him, I really feel so so sad, and I regret so much to not have the opportunity to knowing him more.
STRASS wrote the following statement, with Act up Basel, especially Pauline Londeix, an HIV activist who was close to Andrew, and Shiba Phurailtpam;
“It is with great sadness that we, the Strass and Act Up-Basel, have learned of the sudden death of Andrew Hunter on December 26th, 2013. Andrew was a founder and president of NSWP (Network of Sex Work Projects) and a founder of APNSW (Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers). Andrew was an expert and inspiring advocate on the human rights of sex workers, as well as on issues surrounding the access to medicines for HIV and HCV; this notably included the access to treatment for sex workers in South-East Asia. Beyond his activism, Andrew was a deeply inspiring person, combining kindness, humour and great intelligence. We send our heartfelt condolences to his partner, his family, his loved ones, his colleagues and friends, and to all of the many people who he touched during his life. With Andrew and all of those who have left us in our hearts, we continue with pride in our fight for the rights of sex workers and for access to medicine and treatment!”
I send to everyone lot of strength and lot of love; this is thanks to people like Andrew that we can feel proud of being part of the sex workers community!
Death leaves a heartache
No one can heal;
But Love given by the person who is no more leaves a memory
No one can steal.
Andrew, we will always remember you
We at Triple-X would like to extend our deepest condolences to Andrew's family and close friends. I cannot on even begin to understand the depth of your loss and pain.
I first met Andrew in Amsterdam in 1992 and have worked with him through the aether for over two decades. In his NSWP leadership capacities over that time he proved to be insightful, honest, compassionate and clever. Well-liked and well respected, Andrew was a bright light of the prostitutes' rights movement. This is a terrible loss for all of us and for me personally.
Andrew Hunter- a mad, wise, wonderful, shining star who I was privileged to know and count on as a friend for over a decade ; I am so saddened by his passing - when faced by an issue I will for a long time still be asking 'what might Andrew think about this?' - and I know the answer will come up short because he is not there anymore to do at least one- but sometimes all - of the following; agree, disagree, tell me I was mad (and he was too) and yes we should do do something about it (usually suggesting something quite inspired), that though I was not mad what did I expect from such and such a person, institution etc. All in all a cardinal star that twinkled so brightly in my sky has disappeared shall cry. I will also remember that bright twinkle for a very long time and I know that memory and recollection will continue to guide me...
Speachless, don't know what to say. Loved Andrew because of his relentless power for our rights, never straying from the path, never opportunistic, consequently pursuing one goal.
To borrow a motto: In a world of compromise, he didn't. Our love and support goes out to Dale.
We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our colleague and friend Andrew Hunter. Andrew's spirited approach, his humility, gentleness and sense of humour, his deep concern for and commitment to those he worked with, his unique ability to advocate for people's rights through a range of media, including art and music, touched the lives of all those he came into contact with - and made a difference. We have lost one of our brightest stars. Our sincere condolences go to his partner Dale and to all at NSWP and APNSW.
Nous sommes touchés par ce message, car Andrew fut un grand activiste et qui a pu pour la première fois intégré les travailleurs du sexe de tout les horizons a une action commune du monde pour la defénse des droits des travailleurEuses du sexe lors du festival des travailleurs du sexe en 2012 il a pu démontrer son efficacité dans la promotion et l'accompagnement des activistes pour la défense des droits des travailleurs du sexe. AU nom de tout les travailleuses et travailleurs du sexe réunies au sein du club des plaisir mutuel des travailleuses du sexe en RDCongo, nous présentons nos condoléances les plus attrister. Solidaire a toute la famille et amis
Andrew was many things to me: my boss, my friend, my mentor and most of all a beacon for human rights advocates. You either loved him or hated him for his uncompromising politics and art for adversarial advocacy.
He was like no one I knew....brave, funny and always said what was on his mind. I remember talking about whether I should consider working with the UN. His retort was “They would never hire you” and when I asked why, he said “because they don’t hire staff who actually want to change things”. That is a classic Andrew response.
We had many, many arguments over strategy and I enjoyed every single one of them. He challenged me like no one I know and rare as it was, he admitted when he was wrong. That was to me a sign of a true leader.
The trait I most remembered about him was his generosity with his time to teach, to explain and to share his knowledge and his ideas. I also remember his deep respect for the common man on the street, his revulsion for the rich and powerful. I remember his compassion which isn’t apparent in that typical emotional display but in how he defends people. His humanity was in full display when it comes to how he relates to sex workers. He is always polite, respectful and listens attentively to sex workers, as they were the voices and people like us, were merely facilitators in a struggle that we will look back one day with pride and a sense of accomplishment.
The sex workers rights struggle would not be where it is today without Andrew Hunter. He has brought this discourse both to the women’s movement and in into the human rights and public health discourse.
Andrew Hunter, I salute you. In a world where we yearn for heroes, you were mine.
Rest in peace Andrew Hunter. I wish I could have a chance to say good bye to him before he gone! Andrew was the first few activists for sex worker's rights I met when I started becoming an activist! He inspired me and other people! Working with him in the past was very lovely and a valuable time. If someone say that life is too short, Andrew already showed us that he made the best of his life and devoted all his time for something greater than himself. He is loved by lots of people and by his beloved communities that he serves. He will always be missed and will always be there when we talk about what he has done for us and his beloved community!
I also wish his long life partner P'Dale, will be strong with this greatest loss in his life! I hope I could hold you tight my brother! Take care of yourself P'Dale!
I am deeply sorry to hear about the news. It was a privilege to meet Andrew and fight at his sides. I learned a lot thanks to him. His acts and words have made a profound impact for sex workers all over the world. May his intelligence, his dedication and his courage to stand up against corporate power and greed inspire all of us. Rest in peace Andrew and thank you for everything.
How to run the bar: Andrew Hunter
Andrew, you taught me about passion, about being prepared to be angry about what I believed in, and not giving a f*ck what others thought! I had heard about Andrew long before I had the chance of meeting Andrew the person. I was in awe of the reputation, so humbled and appreciative of the person, and so respectful of the activist. We all need a bit of Andrew's directness and willingness to ask the hard questions -no matter how unpopular they may have been. Thank you for the lessons that you taught me; thank you for what you meant to so many people who mean a lot to me, and thank you for being you! Someone who I only knew a little, but who had had a huge impact on my life! Shine bright red in the night sky dear Andrew, as you so rightly deserve!
I feel blessed to have worked with Andrew. He taught me a lot about community organizing and campaigning. I admired his creativity and fierce intelligence, but most of all, his steadfast commitment to human rights. Andrew understood that movement building led by and for sex workers is the only way to secure real change and he shined a bright light wherever he walked, cigarette in hand. Along with his beloved Dale, he made the world a far better place, with his humour, anger and compassion. Sending wishes of peace to Dale, the beagle, and Andrew's many friends and family. I think this Shakespeare quote is quite fitting:
“When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”
from Romeo & Juliet
It’s with great sadness that we learned today of the sudden death of Andrew Hunter, current president of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and one of the founders of both NSWP (in 1992) and the Asia-Pacific Network of Sex Workers (in 1994).
Andrew was a savvy, principled and tenacious activist for the health and human rights of sex workers, as well as a leader in the HIV treatment access movement. His contributions to the fight against HIV, and for human rights, are a tremendous legacy. We were delighted to honour APNSW several years ago, in collaboration with Human Rights Watch, with the 2008 Award for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights presented to APNSW several years ago, in collaboration with Human Rights Watch
Andrew’s death leaves a great void. Our deep condolences to his partner Dale, to his friends and family, and to the extended global network of sex workers and sex worker activists who have lost a lover, a friend and a comrade.
Andrew Hunter stood up to a psychopath who abused me and bullied Emi Koyama. He was one of very few who had the courage to do so. He saw what she was well before I did and provided private support too. He will be missed.
What a shock to learn of Andrew's death with my breakfast. I met Andrew - along with Danny Cockerline - as part of Cheryl Over's entourage at the Vth international conference on AIDS in Montreal in 1989. Noi Apisuk from EMPOWER was there too. The four of them - two skinny boys, a big-busted girl, and a tiny Thai dynamo - introduced me to the intersection of sex workers' rights and HIV. They also managed to be radical without the smug self-righteousness of the (admittedly cute) Act Up crowd from New York. My partner and I are headed to Bangkok this weekend and I was looking forward to my usual beer and Thai food with Andrew. Thanks for all he contributed to keeping us honest....
I had the great pleasure of teaching Andrew in 2009, in the Master of International Research Bioethics at Monash. Except I didn't teach him. He taught us, all of us. We all look back at those classes where a great transformation took place in all our thinking. Ever on point, Andrew showed us "a vision of the world made new." Goodbye, dear friend.
UNAIDS Asia Pacific joins NSWP in mourning the death of Andrew Hunter.
"Andrew was smart, passionate and courageous. He would challenge authority when he felt wronged and when the human rights of sex workers were not honoured. We will miss his vision, energy and compassion," said Steven Kraus, Director of UNAIDS Asia and the Pacific.
We are in terrible shock today for the loss of our dearest comrade and true friend. We have always been grateful for his leadership and activism together with sex workers and people who live with HIV in Cambodia and around the globe. We owed him so much for his dedication and sacrifice, and never wish to get anything in return, except seeing sex workers movement become stronger and well respected.
WNU and family from Cambodia brought the lantern to the Mekong for Andrew Hunter soul Rest in Peace. You will always be sorely missed. R.I.P Andrew Hunter, you are in our memory with what you have done to support Cambodia sex workers, and HIV people. We appreciate your support.
We invited Buddhist monks for chanting and blessing for his soul rest in peace, staying with us and give us strength for our activism journey. He will always remember those years for the first APNSW regional workshop on the boat of Womyn's Agenda for Change (WAC) and WNU. He still joined us today for our struggle, especially the recent one on Trade and Intellectual Property Rights Law around access to medicines. He continued challenging the Global Fund and make sure community agenda is included and granted fund. It is just terrible that you're leaving us too soon our beloved comrade! Our deepest condolence from Cambodia
We as a team are very sorry and were shocked to hear about the rather unexpected death of Andrew. Our hearts and thoughts are with him all who are close to him. Andrew was a great activist and we are sorry that he no longer can continue his battle. His battle for the improvement of the rights of sex workers will continue.
It deeply saddens me to hear this sad news. Thoughts & prayers with Dale & Andrews’s family. Andrews voice & tenacity that drives sex worker rights & HIV treatments is a huge loss to our movement. Arohanui,
The news of the death of Andrew is shocking for me. I still remember the arrangements made by him for the exposure visit to Bangkok in 2009 of Interact Worldwide UK Pakistan teams lead by Mr. Abid Atiq and me. The way he managed whole of the visit to the APNSW network partners was great. I use to call him on each of my visit to Bangkok and will miss him a lot.
Andrew Hunter is not only a colleague working in sex work issue, he is also more than friend, a close family with me, used to stay in my house for a while. Andrew is a thoughtful of empower, what empower is doing a part of our work is collaborated with APNSW. We always feel that Andrew you are not going away, you still being with us, always. Love and sleep well,
It is with shock and great sadness that we in Canada learn of Andrew's death. Andrew was a dear friend, mentor to me personally, and a good ally to all sex worker rights’ organisations worldwide. He was a powerful and intellectual force. But also a kind, thoughtful, and fun person. Sex Professionals of Canada deeply mourns Andrew's death. If there is a sex worker heaven, we're sure he is there right now. Our thoughts are with his long term partner Dale, NSWP, and everyone who also loved Andrew.
With shock and great sadness, we mourn the sudden death of colleague, and long-time activist Andrew Hunter. A giant in the sex worker rights movement, his many accomplishments will live on, but, the Andrew we know and love will be sorely missed.
I first met Andrew in 88 when I was a Grove Boy, a street worker in St Kilda Melbourne. I met Andrew Bret Keith Richard Pam Di Laurane Robert . We all became friends most of us worked and used together.
We had some wild times :) partying at Mandate, POW, Peel and other gay clubs in the 80s90s. There were some strange people over the years. Back in 1991 (I think) a transsexual street worker Rebeca was arrested for Recklessly Endangering Life (having unsafe sex and HIV+)
I came into PCV that morning. Andrew and Cheryl Overs grabbed me before I could get in the door. And told me I was going in radio in 20 mins!!WTF!! They told me what had happened and what will happen. The staff where not happy to say the least (you can't have an IDU street worker on radio). The gamble he took in me paid off. I stumped the reporter and many in the next few weeks we organised “The Love-In" with ACTUP. It was a tough time for us. But we succeeded. Rebeca passed away in hospital not long after.
Then I became HIV+ in March 92. I had to stop working due to my status. But with some help from Andrew (egging me on to do it) I got the funding for “HIV support group worker " for HIV+ Sex Workers. Thank you Andrew for believing in me. I'm gunna miss the old days. We all had so much fun. You have and always been a special man. From the beginnings at 10 Inkerman St. To where you ended up. It's great to know that a drug using male sexworker from Victoria can make a difference a huge difference. I'm so blessed to have known you mate (sorry for rambling it’s hard when stoned and crying lol). RIP MATE
Andrew Hunter is my hero. More and more. RIP. Flyer for first sex workers’ protest I organised when I was 19... "Prostitutes For Peace" We protested against the visiting US Navy fleet- plastered posters all over Melbourne which said "take your money, take your dicks, your bombs and diseases, get on your ships and GO HOME"
Yesterday afternoon was shocking for us….we got the news of the untimely sudden demise of Andrew…an irreparable loss to all of us. It was Andrew who extended unconditional support to us to rise beyond Karnataka to the regional and global level through his untiring efforts. His death leaves a vast gap. While there is mourning at Ashodaya, we all pray his soul rest in peace. Our thoughts are with Dale his partner, his family and friends. We love you Andrew and you will always be with us…..
I first met Andrew in Melbourne in the mid-1980’s when he was working for the fledgling Prostitutes Collective of Victoria and later for the Victorian Intravenous & AIDS Association (VIVAIDS). Andrew was also involved in establishing the first needle availability programs, one of the first in the world. I was the first President of the Victorian AIDS Council and went on to become one of the first workers employed by the Health Department to work on HIV/AIDS.
As could be imagined the notion of government funds being allocated to a collective of sex workers or to an association of injecting drug users or even for a needle availability program was controversial to say the least and I had to mediate between the demands of government for accountability and the demands of the various communities Andrew so actively and ably advocated for. Our relationship was often strained but never broken as we both realised the overriding imperatives of the epidemics of HIV and Hep C that we were both committed to fighting.
Andrew was persistent, a good negotiator and full of the vigour of youthful passion. Later when I moved interstate to Queensland from Victoria (after a change of government to a much more conservative hue), I found Andrew had moved too and was now heading up the Queensland Injectors network (known as QIVVA) and we re-commenced our little dance of government and community activists trying to find ways around problems that seemed to arise almost every day.
Andrew was ingenious, persistent and very determined to ensure community ownership and community control – as any good advocate would be. We had many, many meetings where we would try and problem solve for hours at a time and finish with a hug and a laugh.
I wish I could give him a hug right now and tell him just how many people are alive today because of his years of hard work.
SCOT-PEP would like to take this opportunity to mourn the sudden and inconceivable death of Andrew Hunter on the 26th of December 2013. A true fighter and powerful activist, Andrew was an inspiration to sex workers and people living with HIV around the world. Andrew was one of the founding members of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and also of the Asia and the Pacific Network of Sex Workers. Openly a former sex worker and living with HIV, Andrew used his personal experiences to fight in every way he could for the rights of sex workers and the rights of all people living with HIV to treatment. Andrew was always at the frontline of our global protest for sex workers’ rights and galvanized and mobilized anybody he spoke to; he had a way of making people share his anger and frustrations with the injustices of the world. He would not stand down in his conviction, even to those who tried to silence him or other sex workers.
For sex workers who knew of Andrew’s activism, we grieve the loss of an important and unforgettable mentor. For those of us who knew Andrew personally, we grieve deeply the loss of a friend.
Rest in peace Andrew and rest knowing that you left your mark on this world and in our hearts that are breaking over this tragic news.
Such horrible news! Andrew was a great activist who contributed a lot to improve the rights for sex workers. Our heart and thoughts are with him all who are close to him.
Asociación Civil CAMBIO y ACCIÓN, Lamenta el fallecimiento de Andrew Hunter presidente de la NSWP (RED MUNDIAL DEL TRABAJO SEXUAL), desde Lima-Perú enviamos nuestras mas sentidas condolencia a toda su familia, Compañeros de trabajo y de lucha de la Comunidad de la Diversidad del trabajo Sexual y amigos. Estamos seguros que desde arriba seras nuestro Ángel y nos cuidaras en todas nuestras luchas.
This photo of Holly and Andrew was taken on the WAC Boat in Phnom Penh Cambodia 2007. I travelled the world with Andrew, spent many nights partying with him in Bangkok and Phnom Penh. Andrew was one of the true allies Korsang had. It was Andrew and Rosanna who introduced me to Carol Jenkins, who became my friend, back in the day and it was Andrew who got 9 Korsang (Drug using) break dancing kids to Mexico City IAC. He touched the world, me and my family. It's a great loss to the international harm reduction community.
This is heart-breaking and shocking news. While I did not know Andrew closely, he made a deep and lasting impact on me. I have aspired to carry his honesty, energy and wisdom in my activism, and will now do so even more. We are diminished. My thoughts and love to everyone grieving this loss.
En este 2013 el movimiento de TS, a sufrido las perdidas de 2 militantes como lo son Gabriella Leite y ahora Andrew Hunter, en memoria de ellos debemos redoblar esfuerzos y despedirlos con un HASTA SIEMPRE COMPAÑEROS!!!!!!
I am speechless at this horrible news! My thoughts are with you all in this sad moment. I only knew Andrew for a few years, but I was deeply impressed by his passion, sharp analytic thought, compassion and fire from the first moment on. The gap he leaves is large and his shoes are very large for anybody to fill. I will miss him both as an activist and a person. My condolences to all of you!
Nous sommes très peinés du deuil de notre cher Président NSWP Andrew Hunter. Nous tenons à manifester notre profond soutien et notre entière sympathie à la famille éprouvée et à ses collègues de APNSW.
Nous participons à cette terrible épreuve, et transmettons nos plus sincères condoléances et le témoignage de notre sympathie.
It is really too sad to even begin to deal with. Our hearts go out to his friends and family and especially to Dale. The best way to honour his memory is continuing his work through our own love and solidarity,
This is a tragic, untimely loss of a real activist, a dedicated and professional leader, someone who never shirked their responsibilities to the people they served and represented. I will always remember Andrew as a man with passion and bravery, someone who stood-up for all sex workers, especially those marginalized, victimized and repressed. Andrew was a fearless human rights activist whose contribution to right and decent human life will be greatly missed. Andrew’s feisty style kept us all on their toes, focused on the main goal and ensuring that we too, all do our utmost towards the collective aim – the collective good of all sex workers worldwide. His was a righteous goal for us all to focus on and contribute to. Sincere condolences to all in NSWP. In remembrance.
We are very saddened with this news. Our hearts and best wishes are with Dale, his friends and family. We as sex workers from Turkey will continue our fight to honour Andrew and his ideals. We have lost a very powerful and a unique activist.
We are dismayed with this sad news. Andrew Hunter our teacher and friend has passed us on the road. Our work will continue with the great example of struggle, perseverance and love of our convictions thanks for everything you gave us my dear beloved Andrew today you rest in peace, some day we will meet again. Dale receives our fraternal hug, we love you. It hurts not to be close. Latin America also is crying the news.
Deeply regret the death of a human being so committed to the rights of persons that practice sex work. Andrew Hunter, God bless you wherever you are
We are losing a fierce fighter and a great president.
Andrew was so nice and always took the time to explain things.
My thoughts to Dale of course.
This is very sad and shocking.
We will continue the fight Andrew with you in our minds.
... sincere condolence to his loved ones, far and near. Take care, Tracey, and the extended APNSW family. The lights may have dimmed, but the war will continue. I first met you all those years ago back here in Melbourne, to catch Nina Simone playing the arts precinct concert hall in the mid '80s. From the amazing local legacy that was the Prostitutes Collective of Victoria, to the global NSWP and then regional APNSW, thank you Andrew Hunter - RIP.
We love Andrew.
We don't forget Andrew.
Andrew is father and hero of sexworker family.
Andrew's activity is continued with us.
We are together forever.
Sex Workers Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) joins the sex workers movement across the world in mourning the sudden and untimely loss of Andrew Hunter, a founding member and a president of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and founding member of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW).
We all lost an extraordinary advocate, a true fighter whose strength, dedication and determination to make the world better place for sex workers and people living with HIV, set a genuineexample for the rest of us. Many of us lost a mentor, an emphatic and supportive friend whose company will be missed forever.
We send our sincerest condolences to his partner, family and friends in these difficult times.
Rest in peace Andrew and thank you for everything. We will honour your legacy by continuing and enhancing the work you were doing.
I'm from China, I care about the human rights concerning sex workers. On December 26th, president of NSWP, Andrew, had passed away from us. I felt so sorry for it.
Many allies and friends were posting and sharing photos and videos about Andrew. Andrew was my mentor, my best friend. His passing away made me feel that our strength for protecting and fighting for human rights for sex workers is even weaker.
Promoting the human rights for the sex workers is definitely not limited to some certain sex workers' party, it is also a part of the human rights cause of the globe.
I hope the UN as well as World Organization for Human Rights can acknowledge Andrew's dedication and contribution in this cause. His influence is not limited to the overall environment of world human rights. His influence has touched upon the area of world human rights for sex workers and the treatment and prevention for AIDS.
The rights of sex workers are part of human rights. The passing away of Andrew shouldn't left us only mourning and grieving. We should honour him and carry his unfinished will forward.
I hope his passing away will get attention from the UN and World Organization for Human Rights. I hope NSWP, APNSW and all other people who have sacrificed and put their heart into this human rights cause will be honoured and remembered by the world. Please grieve over Andrew's death with me, and send our sincere gratitude to him!
We are dismayed with this sad news.
Andrew Hunter our teacher and friend has passed us on the road.
Our work will continue with the great example of struggle, perseverance and love of our convictions thanks for everything you gave us my dear beloved Andrew today you rest in peace, some day we will meet again.
Dale receives our fraternal hug, we love you.
It hurts not to be close.
Latin America also is crying the news.
Lost my Mentor, friend, guide, feeling completely lost
I got the call… and I was frozen couldn't believe it at all. At first I thought it was a passee, just couldn't control myself, re-checked with few others and then it hit me.... I was lost. It just seemed like yesterday to me when I had last met him in Bangkok and had a long discussions of work and many other things. I couldn't believe it was also because I had just a day before read his face book news feed and called him and we spoke.
He was my mentor, guide, and my guardian angel, who helped Laxmi, polished her and out of all supported her all the time. 'Andrew' - the space which you have created in my life won't be filled. I am missing you and grieving and my grief couldn't be put down in words or....
Andrew your activism your way of approach and above all you will be missed. May god bless you and your soul rest in peace I am saying this with a heavy heart, because for me you are still here in my thoughts, and in my mind forever. This is the worst Christmas for me and will always be.
Dale my heartfelt condolences and hugs, sweetheart you need to stand up and be strong at this moment. We now look up to you and will be always there to support you.
There is a saying in Hindi which goes like this 'What is lost you don't know now because with every passing moment it hits you back reminding you of what you have lost'. I know what i have lost and nothing and nothing could replace it. May your soul rest in peace ....... Thank You
Dedicated to a beautiful Friend. All things become resolved with time, and man is not subject to arbitration, but to positive formulas based on his behavioural patterns. So to your own self be true, and then you will be true to others, for as we are, and what we take unto ourselves, so that shall we be, and put forth from ourselves. There is no power throughout life that has the right to demand that we be anything other than ourselves, we alone have this right. You may say, “this is not true, for are we not subject to Fate?" And I will reply, “fate is but a formula in which you yourselves participate, and all things were set into motion within Eternity". You have only to learn to swim with the currents of Destiny. Therefore seek to understand all things, for this is Eternity and we are all Eternal Beings. To Dale and Tracey may the sadness of separation from your dear dear Andrew, be swiftly replaced by beautiful memories of happier time. May these memories sustain until we all join him in the Hereafter. Our love and prayers are with you, you both as well as with Andrew's Family and his extended Family. Minnie, Hazelle, Tauri, Eva, Ambrose and Bora and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community throughout Australia.
Andrew you were a great man, with full integrity and devoted to the rights of sex workers and HIV treatment activist movement. We will never stop mourning you. Rest in peace, may god have pity on your soul
I am deeply saddened to hear Andrew has died. His energy and astuteness as a big voice for us will remain as an inspiration. Our thoughts to Dale and all who are close to Andrew. This is a shock.
Xin'ai Female Sex worker's Home, Tianjing (天津信爱文化传播中心), Beijing Zuoyou, Beijing (北京佐佑中心), Jiao Zhou Love & Health Counseling Centre, Jiaozhou (胶州市爱心健康咨询中心), Yunnan Parallel, Kunming (云南平行), Miss Weifan CHEN, Beijing (陈韦帆), Shenzhen Xiyan Communication Centre, Shen Zhen (深圳夕颜), and Midnight Blue, Hong Kong (午夜蓝), China
We have just learned with deep regret of the death of Andrew Hunter and we are writing to express our heartfelt sympathy. There is not much one can say at a time such as this, but those of us working in sex worker movement in China who have known Andrew would like you to know that you have our sincere sympathy in your bereavement. We recall her many kindness and contributions. He will be missed by all who knew him. If there is any way in which we can be of any help, either now or later, do please let us know.
On behalf of Transgender Equality Uganda, it’s so sad to hear such news of the sudden death of Andrew Hunter. I would like to extend our sincere condolences to NSWP, family and friends of Andrew Hunter and in reality we have made a very big loose which will never be recovered. Andrew Hunter was such an inspiring activist, I remember Him in the Sex work Freedom festival in India Kolkata when he helped us to demonstrate on the streets. May your soul rest in eternal peace.
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria: Remembering Andrew Hunter
The Global Fund mourns the loss of Andrew Hunter, member of the Communities Delegation to the Board of the Global Fund since 2011 and member of the Global Fund Human Rights Reference Group. He died in Bangkok on 26 December 2013. He was 45 years old.
Hunter was President of the Network of Sex Work Projects and a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Network of Sex Workers. He was a leader of a global movement to advance human rights for sex workers. His exceptional personal commitment led to a rapid growth and development of the movement, by grounding it in the principles of social justice, community empowerment and direct representation.
Quite outspoken about living with HIV himself, he also led efforts to advance human rights for others living with HIV, as well as for people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men and transgender communities.
While he never put himself in the limelight, he played a decisive role in shaping the international discourse around sex work. He provided leadership that successfully elevated human rights standards in multiple places. He trained and mentored many others, developing and inspiring new advocates and leaders across Asia and globally.
In his role on the Board of the Global Fund, Hunter was one of those who led the push to integrate human rights into the institution’s strategy. In advising the Global Fund on human rights, Hunter drew on an encyclopedic knowledge of real-life human rights violations experienced by sex workers in many countries.
With his passion and his piercing wit, Hunter inspired many to truly live up to principles of human rights, and to do better human rights work. His keen sense of humor and his steadfast, generous and empathic support of friends and advocates in need achieved a tremendous amount.
Hunter did much of his work without pay or compensation, often drawing on his own limited resources to help activists in need.
It will take the commitment of many of Hunter's colleagues and friends to continue the work that he started. The Global Fund expresses deep condolences to his beloved partner, Dale, and to his other family members, as well as to the international network of activists who were his adopted family.
On 26 December 2013 Andrew Hunter passed away. Andrew Hunter was the president of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and an HIV activist who lived with HIV himself. NSWP is a grantee of the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund and has been a partner of Aids Fonds for years. NSWP is also one of the global partners of the Bridging the Gaps program. We got to know Andrew Hunter as a true activist, outspoken and intelligent. Andrew Hunter will be missed deeply. However, his contribution to the HIV response and the sex work movement will live on. We express our condolences to his partner, his family and his friends.
GENEVA, 27 December 2013 - The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is deeply saddened by the death of Andrew Hunter, who was known and respected for his tireless promotion of the rights of people from key populations most at risk of HIV, particularly sex workers.
Mr Hunter was a driving force of the sex workers rights movement globally and across Asia and the Pacific for decades. He was the President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and one of the founding members of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) and NSWP.
“The global AIDS movement has lost a great advocate and activist who was a phenomenal force of energy,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “Andrew was a courageous champion of sex worker-led HIV programming. We will miss his vision, energy and compassion."
Mr Hunter was a member of the UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and sex work. He also led NSWP and APNSW’s meaningful participation in the development of policies and tools on HIV and sex work, and
We here at the Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights mourn the loss of Andrew Hunter, a long‐time friend and advisor to our organization and women’s human rights at large.
As a tireless activist working to advance the rights of sex workers and people living with HIV/AIDS, Andrew has touched all of us with his insight, spirit, and energy. I first met Andrew almost ten years ago in Bangkok. I was moved by how generously he gave his time, his contacts, and his expertise in shaping my understanding of sex workers’ rights. I found him terribly funny and terrifyingly smart.
Over the years, I would always seek Andrew out at conferences or meetings to get a reality check on what was really happening. I always sent people his way to learn about the sex worker movement. The last time I saw Andrew was in 2012, at AWID in Istanbul, where I spentthe bulk of my time with him and Meena Seshu in the Red Umbrella area designated for sex workers. To me, it was the most welcoming and easy‐going space at the conference, largely because of their presence, and I was treated to the same smart, witty commentary I had become used to from Andrew. Facebook was another place I kept up with Andrew. In addition to his regular stream of information about sex workers rights’ movements, I appreciated and shared his passion for caffeine and Hello Kitty.
For all of us at UAF, whether it was over quick and pithy emails orduring deeply engaging in‐person conversations, Andrew always came across as a wonderful, smart, and funny person, trulya force to be reckoned with. We were very lucky to have had the opportunity to know him and work with him. His expertise informed many of ourrapid‐response grants to human rights defenders over the years, positively impacting organizations that will continue to thrive through the movement that he sofearlessly led.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Dale and all who loved Andrew. Sending you our love and energy.
Kate Kroeger, Executive Director
The Alliance’s Executive Director, Alvaro Bermejo, pays tribute to Andrew Hunter, President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects who died on 26th December 2013.
“Andrew's passion, commitment and tireless efforts to improve the life of sex workers will be deeply missed. Whether or not he agreed with the Alliance (and more often than not he didn't) he always had a view worth listening to, a perspective from which I felt I could learn.
“I will treasure, amongst other things, his push to incorporate a stronger human rights strategy and programming at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS , Tuberculosis and Malaria and the way he kept reminding us of the dangers of approaching programming with men who have sex with men, people who use drugs and sex workers as if they were distinct population groups with little or no overlap.
“Andrew, rest in peace knowing your teachings will stay with us.”
The International Network of People who Use Drugs mourns the sudden and tragic death of Andrew Hunter, President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP), and coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW). Andrew died in Bangkok on the 26th December.
Andrew was not just a leader of the global movement for the human rights of sex workers, but a passionate and articulate advocate and defender of the human rights of all communities most severely affected by HIV, police violence, stigma and marginalisation. His defence of the rights of sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, transgender people and people living with HIV was outstanding and ground-breaking.
Andrew was openly a member of so many of the communities, that at times it seemed he could speak for all of us from personal experience as a gay man living with HIV, a sex worker and a drug user. He embodied the multiple overlaps between the communities and so defied those who would wish to keep us in siloes. He was a pivotal and militant figure in an increasingly unified movement for social justice, treatment access and human rights.
Andrew was a devastatingly witty and supremely intelligent, humane man who wore his learning lightly. He never compromised on principles, and always spoke truth to power.
All of the key affected populations have lost a great advocate. His like will not be seen again and the communities will struggle to fill the many roles that he played. His adopted family of human rights, social justice and treatment activists have lost a towering figure. We will miss him greatly.
Our deepest condolences and sympathies go out to Dale, his beloved partner, and to his closest colleagues, family and friends.
NEW YORK, NY — Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), released the following statement today in response to the passing of Andrew Hunter, president of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and founding member of Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), an AJWS grantee.
"Yesterday we lost a powerful human rights advocate and a great man,"said Messinger. "Andrew Hunter was a pioneering leader in the sex worker rights movement and a tenacious advocate for HIV and AIDS treatment. He fought tirelessly for the dignity, health and safety of sex workers worldwide. The life force of his activism will never be forgotten. We extend our deepest condolences to Andrew's partner Dale, his friends and his family during this difficult time."
GNP+ is shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Andrew Hunter, a leading activist and advocate in the sex worker and PLHIV community. Andrew’s knowledge, skills, passion and tireless commitment for fighting injustices, both in the Asia Pacific region with APNSW and globally as President of NSWP has brought our two communities together and has provided fellow activists a model for advocacy in the HIV response today. His contributions to advocacy around access to medicines are inspiring and will continue to motivate others to action in the future.
The thoughts of the GNP+ staff and board members are with Andrew’s partner, his friends and colleagues at this time.
It is with deep shock and sadness that we received the news of the passing away of our dear friend and colleague Andrew Hunter in Bangkok on 26th December 2013. He was a selfless, inspiring leader and a tireless fighter with a lifelong commitment to the empowerment of Sex Workers and the realization of their rights and unhindered access to comprehensive HIV care. Apart from being the President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and a founding member of Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), he was a true champion for the welfare of Sex Workers in key forums and platforms at regional and international arenas. We will miss him as a dynamic member of the International AIDS Society's Advisory Group on 'Key Affected Populations'. His unswerving dedication to principles of human rights, sharp insight and unrelenting efforts to overcome the human rights violations experienced by Sex Workers across the world will always be an inspiration to us.
On behalf of the members of the International AIDS Society (IAS), the world’s leading independent association of HIV professionals with more than 16,000 members in 176 countries across the world, we the leaders of IAS express our heartfelt grief at the passing away of Andrew. We also convey our deep condolences to his beloved partner, Dale, his friends, family, and members of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and the wider community of activists who were near and dear to him.
The cherished memory of Andrew prompts the International AIDS Society to further strive for healthy, evidence-based policies, and advocate for changes in current harsh laws and policies. We look to a future, as Andrew did, where all Sex Workers and other Key Affected Populations have full access to HIV services, dignity and respect
Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, President, International AIDS Society, Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2008
Professor Chris Beyrer, President-Elect, International AIDS Society, Director of Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Co Chair, IAS Advisory Group on Key Affected Populations, UN Secretary General Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Celebrating the Life and Legacy of HIV and Sex Worker Rights Activist Andrew Hunter
The MSMGF remains deeply saddened over the unexpected passing of Andrew Hunter, President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and founding member of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW). Andrew passed away on December 26, 2013.
Andrew was known and respected for his tireless promotion of human rights among socially marginalized people, particularly sex workers. He was a monumental force within the international movements to advance the rights of sex workers, people living with HIV, people who use drugs, gay men and other men who have sex with men, and transgender people. Our respective movements were all strengthened by Andrew’s tireless efforts.
As an HIV advocate, Andrew was a live wire who injected much needed urgency into the global AIDS response. He was unafraid to speak truth to power, and his sharp intellect and unwavering commitment made him a formidable champion and extraordinary ally. Andrew’s intellect was matched only by his sense of humor, which served as a powerful reminder that the seriousness of social change work must be balanced by the restorative power of fellowship.
Andrew’s sudden death leaves our respective movements with a gaping vacancy that can only be filled by the legacy and spirit he leaves behind. His actions and his way of navigating the sometimes unforgiving challenges of social change will continue to inspire and teach future generations of human rights defenders. The MSMGF extends its deepest condolences to Andrew's partner Dale, his friends, family, NSWP, and APNSW during this difficult time.
We miss you Andrew!
This past week we were saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Andrew Hunter, an inspiring colleague and leader in the fight for sex worker rights and global treatment access. As president of Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and founding member of Asia-Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), he relentlessly worked for inclusion of sex workers in national and international mechanisms and provided vital support to the sex worker movement anywhere he could.
Andrew was an amazing activist, great colleague and friend. He had a keen mind for strategy and was always willing to share his innovative ideas. We have been fortunate enough to experience first-hand the incredible support Andrew and his colleagues have offered to our colleagues in Southeast Asia and China.
His passion for the rights of sex workers and other marginalized communities around the world and his never ending engagement have been vital to strengthening sex worker networks and organizations across the globe, particularly in Asia and the Pacific.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to his partner Dale, his family, colleagues and friends in this time of sadness.
On 26 December 2013 Andrew Hunter passed away. Andrew Hunter was the president of the Network of Sex Work Projects and an HIV activist who lived with HIV himself. NSWP has been a partner of Aids Fonds for years. NSWP is one of the global partners of our Bridging the Gaps programme and NSWP is also a grantee of the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund. We got to know Andrew Hunter as a true activist, outspoken and intelligent. Andrew Hunter will be missed deeply. However, his contribution to the HIV response and the sex work movement will live on. We express our condolences to his partner, his family and his friends.
The Public Health Program of the Open Society Foundations is deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Andrew Hunter, President of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and longtime advocate for sex workers’ rights. His passion for human rights was unwavering, and he brought an unapologetically strong voice to the realities and rights of sex workers in his work to shape the global HIV policy agenda.
Our sincere condolences to Andrew’s partner, Dale, and to his family, friends and colleagues around the world.