Report on the Activities
of the Coordinator in London
August 26 - September 3, 2004
This brief report is to inform NSWP members and the board about the activities that the coordinator participated in during my visit to London and Brighton, August 26 - September 3, 2004. Mainly I was invited to the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD +10), and to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) used the opportunity and invited me to consult with them about preparing the training. I also "skipped" one day to go to Brighton for a meeting with Cheryl Overs, Senior Officer for Focused Prevention at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. The week made several activities possible. These are:
- Consultation with the IPPF on training about vulnerability.
- Meeting with Alliance Senior Officer for Focused Prevention.
- ICPD +10
- Meeting with IPPF and United Nations Fund for Populations (UNFPA) staff (Kevin Osbourne and Alejandra Trossero (IPPF) and Steve Kraus (UNFPA).
Consultation with the IPPF on training about vulnerability
IPPF and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) are organizing a course on HIV/AIDS, Youth and Vulnerability. A group of "experts" from different institutions, including Harm Reduction, Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+), the International Community of Women living with HIV (ICW) and several IPPF staff met for two days (August 28 and 29) to discuss contents and methods for this training to be held in South Africa in November 2004.
Before the meeting, IPPF conducted an assessment (IPPF/GTZ Course on HIV/AIDS: rights, Vulnerability, and Young People; Training Needs Assessment Report, IPPF, London, 2004) to check the main interests of the potential participants. A very interesting situation appeared: when participants were asked to score which priorities should be addressed in the course, the highest score was "working with vulnerable groups of young people." The least important on the scale was "how to work in partnership with vulnerable groups at all levels." This means that people wanted to learn HOW to work with vulnerable groups, but also expressed that is difficult for them to establish partnerships. Respondents were accessed through the regional offices of IPFF in Uzbequistan, India, Malaysia, Lithuania, Belgium, China, Mexico, Bangladesh, Sudan, Djibouti, Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Guyana, Cameroon and Mozambique.
I addressed the crucial need to stimulate partnerships during this course. In addition, a background document was distributed to the participants and my main criticism is that 99 per cent of the references were for UNAIDS documents only, including the promotion of 100% CUP. I made it clear that NSWP does not support the 100% CUP program and showed evidence of our points. The good thing is that they quote Making Sex Work Safe among the references. I made clear that the way the document addresses sex work contributes to the idea of "high risk groups" and to more stigma. I suggested some of the references the membership sent me before the meeting. I also stressed the importance of social capital and community development to reduce sex workers vulnerability. This is proven by existing research. Everybody knew about the Sonagachi project in India and expressed interest in the Rio de Janeiro study (to be published soon). I suggested references about methodology by Paulo Freire (with whom I had the honor to work with). I also suggested that facilitators from the vulnerable groups conduct workshops.
Meeting with Alliance Senior Officer for Focused Prevention
On Wednesday, September 1, I went to Brighton to meet with Cheryl Overs, Senior Program Officer for Focused Prevention of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. She is responsible for the supervision of my contract as an Alliance consultant — which makes it possible for me to donate time to coordinate NSWP. We discussed all the activities in the contract, made a work-plan and had the opportunity to identify potential sources for resources to make some of the planned activities possible. Among these activities, we planned a launch of the French version of Making Sex Work Safe to Francophone African countries and planned to continue with the Russian version which is being developed in Ukraine.
ICPD +10 was the main purpose of my visit. My name was suggested by Jeff O'Malley, ex-Alliance executive director one year ago. Organized by the IPPF, ICPD +10's main objectives were to evaluate the achievements in sexual and reproductive health made in the ten years since the International Conference on Population Development was held in Cairo in 1994, and to plan activities for the future. (See www.ippf.org.)
I participated in working group on HIV/AIDS. The main aim of the group was to identify how services and organizations in sexual and reproductive health and rights are involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and what can be made to achieve more involvement. Several speakers addressed the "need to understand the needs of vulnerable populations." I made clear that we sex workers are organized. I divulged our NSWP network and made it very clear that we are available to provide technical support. I stated clearly that sex workers are not necessarily hard to reach ("A 'hard-to-reach' sex worker is an unemployed sex worker!") and showed the need for more support for our activities. I also made a clear protest against the US directives and showed that it is another crime from the American government because lots of sex workers projects and organizations are losing their funding. I emphasized the importance of establishing partnerships. Note that IPPF is one of the main organizations worldwide advocating to the CNN policy in opposition to the ABC policy. I consider my participation positive and fruitful and expect new partnerships to be established in a near future.
Meeting with IPPF and UNFPA staff
The day I was to leave London (September 3), I was invited to a meeting with Kevin Osbourne and Ale Trossero from IPPF and Steve Kraus from the UNFPA. Basically, they wanted to know more about NSWP and I made a presentation of our main successes and failures; listed regions where we are stronger and weaker; and told of our future projects and my activities as coordinator. They were very impressed about how much we could achieve with almost no resources. Dr. Kraus said that he always uses Making Sex Work Safe in his trainings and workshops and expressed interest in the other versions. I told them about the APNSW site (www.apnsw.org) and the Asia Pacific version; that the resource is already launched in Spanish, and that versions in French and Russian are expected to be launched next year. I offered potential partnership in terms of technical support and I believe this will happen in a near future.
- Paulo Longo, NSWP Coordinator
Rio de Janeiro, September, 2004
You can download this 3 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.