Asia and the Pacific

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CEDAW Shadow Report on the Status of Sex Workers in India

NSWP members SANGRAM and VAMP, along with CASAM and women’s rights organisation MASUM submitted this shadow report on the status of sex workers in India to the 58th CEDAW Committee in July 2014. The report highlights the violence and rights violations experienced by sex workers and includes testimonies from sex workers across India.

CEDAW Shadow Report on the Status of Sex Workers in Bangladesh

The Sex Workers Network (SWN), Bangladesh & Sex Workers and Allies in South Asia (SWASA), Bangladesh Chapter submitted this shadow report to to the 65th CEDAW Session, which took place in November 2016.

95 Street-Based Sex Workers Rally for Sex Workers' Rights in Bangladesh

Over 95 sex workers held a rally for International Sex Worker Rights Day in Shahbagh, Bangladesh on 3 March. Police tried to prevent them from going ahead with the rally, so sex workers rallied without banners and planned a route that was unknown to the police.

Hanteo National Union Plan Rally Against Evictions before 2018 Winter Olympics

Sex workers in South Korea are fighting an eviction project supported by a local council. This project will push sex workers out of their work places. It has been reported that Cheongnyangni is now being targeted as part of a “long-term trend in which visible signs of vice are being scrubbed from the capitals streets ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, a mountainous area a few hours northeast of Seoul.” Sex workers in various countries have often be targeted in so called ‘city clean ups’ by governments hosting Olympic Games.

UN Special Rapporteur Visits West Papua

In the wake of several human rights officials being denied entry to West Papua, The UN Special Rapporteur for Health, Dainius Puras’, officially visited West Papua last week. Human Rights Watch notes, “Indigenous sex workers in West Papua are being impacted by a HIV epidemic and lack of adequate healthcare amidst wider systematic denials of human rights and violence perpetrated by the Indonesian military and mining companies.”

Hanteo National Union Plan Protest Against Closures

Hanteo National Union (HNU), a sex workers right’s orgnaisation in Korea told the Korea Times that sex workers plan to protest if the government pushes ahead with plans to shut down their workplaces.

Authorities in Hanoi, Vietnam Plan 'Biggest Crackdown Ever' for 2017

VNExpress has reported that authorities in Hanoi, Vietnam are planning their ‘biggest crackdown ever’ for 2017. The city is aiming to meet a quota of 500 charges this year. They want to avoid repeat offenders being charged and provide financial assistance to help sex workers find new jobs.

Raid in Cambodia Led to the Death of Pen Kunthea

There have been calls for systematic change, accountability and justice to be served following the death of a sex worker who was pursued in a crackdown in Daun Penh, Cambodia. Several international non-governmetal organisations (NGOs), including human rights organisations and advocacy groups for sex workers have demanded that the Cambodian government decriminalise sex work to protect the rights of sex workers.

National Network of Sex Workers Statement Challenging the ‘Last Girl First’: Second World Congress against the Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls

The following is a statement from the National Network of Sex Workers challenging the ‘Last Girl First’: Second World Congress against the Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls (January 29-31, 2017, New Delhi, India) organised by the Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution International (CAP Intl). 

Sesenieli Naitala (Bui) Recognised for Sex Workers' Rights Activism in Fiji

San Fiji’s Sesenieli Naitala (Bui) has been recognised for her significant achievements and commitment to fighting for the rights of sex workers and other communities facing discrimination. She received a community activist award on International Human Rights Day in December 2016. As Shirley Tagi, the 'DIVA for Equality' Coordinator explained, "Sesenieli Naitala, also known by many as Bui, has been a human rights activist for LGBTI and sex worker rights in Fiji for decades.