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This resource is a Community Guide to the Sex Work as Work policy brief. It summarises international frameworks that address work and the right to work, and particularly, sex work as work. It shows the benefits of viewing sex work as work through a labour approach. It also summarises the consultation with NSWP members about what decent work would look like in the context of sex work.

This global policy brief looks at sex work through a labour framework, and advocates for the recognition of sex work as work. Where sex work is criminalised, sex workers’ workplaces are often excluded from national labour laws. This creates an environment where sex workers have no option but to accept exploitative working conditions. As a result, the struggle for the recognition of sex work as work is closely tied to the struggle for decriminalisation. This policy brief outlines the benefits of looking at sex work through a labour approach. A community guide is also available.

STAR-STAR, a sex workers' collective in the Balkans, has published Voluntary Sex Work. They interviewed 73 sex workers in the city of Skopje. Their key research objectives were to understand sex workers' attitudes and perceptions towards voluntary sex work and the legalisation of sex work, to raise the general population's awareness about sex work, and finally, to present the advantages and disadvantages of sex work legalisation. 

Theme: Labour

In Australia, certain sexual acts performed in pornography are deemed offensive and degrading in criminal law. Zahra Stardust demonstrates how performer-producers are resisting government classification and criminal laws by engaging in sex workers' rights activism through creating performer-centered spaces and pioneering best practices labour standards. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.

Theme: Labour

Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience is a peer-reviewed publication for sex workers, activists, health workers, researchers, NGO staff and policy makers. It is available in English and French. All issues of Research for Sex Work can be found here

The ICRSE Community Report Exploitation: Unfair Labour Arrangements and Precarious Working Conditions in the Sex Industry discusses exploitation in the sex industry, while simultaneously challenging anti-sex work advocates' understanding of sex work as 'sexual exploitation'. Through case studies in Europe and Central Asia, it argues that both sex work, as a form of work and income-generating activity, and exploitation, as labour arrangements that enable one person to take unfair advantage of the work of another, belong to the realm of work and should be viewed and analysed through the lens of labour. 

Theme: Labour

This large, Canadian research explores the perceived control and power within interactions between sex workers and their clients. Sex workers and clients report that most of their interactions are free of conflict and are characterised by relatively symmetrical dynamics of control and power. The ability to negotiate over the terms and conditions of the commercial sexual services offered and sought before meeting in person is linked to workers feeling more control over condom use and feeling more empowered compared to those whose first encounter with clients is face-to-face. This ability to clearly advertise services allows workers to more explicitly state what is and is not being offered so that there is less confusion over expectations, something  that most clients appear to appreciate  and desire for themselves.

This research article explores how the sex workers’ rights movement can build solidarity with other sectors of intimate labour, specifically domestic workers, in its fight to have sex work recognised as work. The article builds upon the notion of sex work as work in the context of a labour rights movement that can change the mechanics of organising decentralised labour.

Theme: Labour

NSWP, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, emphatically condemns the actions of the USA’s Department of Homeland Security and federal prosecutors in New York for the raid on the offices of Rentboy.com and the arrests of seven of its staff members.

Download this resource: PDF icon NSWP Statement rentboy com.pdf

Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work is a peer-reviewed publication for sex workers, activists, health workers, researchers, NGO staff and policy makers. It is available in English and Spanish. All issues of Research for Sex Work can be found here.

Download this resource: PDF icon R4SW 2015_issue14_PDFV.pdf
Theme: Labour

HOOK is a kickass grassroots, volunteer initiative by, for, and about male sex workers. These pocket guides, supersnappy toolkit and cop card provide information on sex work. This educational material is interesting for sex workers who want to educate themselves or others on how work safely and healthy.

The Working Man's Pocket Guide gives tips on doing sex work: be mobile, be good to yourself, be aware, be cautious about cash, be listening.

The Client Guide is a handout for clients. It educates on etiquette in sex worker - client interactions.

Theme: Labour

This is a summary of NSWP's Consensus Statement on Sex Work, Human Rights, and the Law. The Consensus Statement is issued on behalf of NSWP members and the sex workers they represent including sex workers of all genders, class, race, ethnicity, health status, age, nationality, citizenship, language, education levels, disabilities, and many other factors.

The Consensus Statement details eight fundamental rights that sex worker-led groups from around the world identify as crucial targets for their activism and advocacy. Following a global consultation with members, the NSWP Consensus Statement reaffirms NSWP ’s global advocacy platform for sex work, human rights and the law. A 12 page summary of the Consensus Statement is also available.

Download this resource: PDF icon ConStat PDF EngFull.pdf

In this resource, UN Women respond to the anti-decriminalisation campaign by Equality Now. UN Women reaffirm that sex work is work, and that sex workers need the rights that come with full decriminalisation. They highlight and condemn attempts to conflate sex work with sexual exploitation and trafficking. They note that conflating these very different concepts leads to human rights abuses towards both sex workers and trafficked people.

APNSW's response to Equality now covers APNSW's support for the UN reports the recommend decriminalisation, and notes that Equality Now did not submit a response to the UN consultation.

Download this resource: PDF icon APNSW letter Sept 2013 update.pdf

The National Network of Sex Workers India responds to a new campaign to further criminalise sex workers. In their statement, they criticise the conflation of sex work with trafficking, and reiterate the NNSW-India's support of the UN's commitment to sex workers' rights.

The African Sex Worker Alliance statement in response to the attack on the UN recommendations regarding decriminalisation. ASWA state that they "stand firmly against the radical move by former sex workers and campaigners in the global north, to protest against the decriminalisation of sex workers ... [including] our partners, employees, and clients".

This  resource looks at the Canadian legal system and hierarchy of laws from the perspective of launching a court case to protect the rights of sex workers. It discusses the Canadian law and sex workers' rights, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, limits to the Charter, and how to challenge unconstitutional laws.

Download this resource: PDF icon StellaInfoSheetCharter.pdf

This concise, Canadian resource looks at why we need prostitution law reform, what the decriminalisation of sex work is, how decriminalisation happens, decriminalisation through the court system, and how to support sex workers in law reform. It notes, "decriminalisation alone cannot overcome all of the other injustices that many of us face, but it is a necessary step to protecting and respecting sex workers' rights".

Download this resource: PDF icon StellaInfoSheetTheBasic.pdf