Resources: 2003

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Empower Foundation is a Thai organisation since 1985. Empower promotes opportunities for women workers in the entertainment industry. Empower strives to promote these opportunities and rights to all women workers regardless of their country of origin.

United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 58th Session, 18 March – 26 April 2002
Items 14 and 15 of the agenda.

In the spring issue of Soundings the author compares lived experience to the representations of trafficking presented by major media and government agencies. The evidence presented is a deconstruction the way that the discourse on sex work and trafficking is shaped.

UNAIDS called a meeting at the Barcelona Aids Conference in July 2002 of program planners, researchers, field workers and activists to begin discussing its work on HIV care and prevention among sex workers and clients. For the NSWP this was an important opportunity to ensure that UNAIDS is aware of the NSWP's concerns about programs that sex workers see as ineffective and/or as contributing to the abuse of sex workers. The meeting was preceded by NSWP demonstrations that drew attention to the negative impact on sex workers' human rights of anti-trafficking and public health measures such as mandatory registration and examination of sex workers that are increasingly being promoted as effective approaches to HIV prevention.

100% Condom Use Policy (CUP) programmes that aim to reduce HIV among female sex workers are being implemented or planned in several countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. As a result of claims made about the role of 100% CUP in reducing national HIV epidemics, UNAIDS and other key agencies promote the programmes as a "best practice". The NSWP has a different view of the theory and practice of 100% CUP. Our view is based on ethical analysis and on real evidence from the field.

Social justice activists internationally have hailed as progressive and humane the 1998 report The Sex Sector: The Economic and Social Bases of Prostitution in Southeast Asia. Edited by Lin Lean Lim of the International Labour Office in Geneva, the book recommends that the sex industry be included in official government accountings, first, because of its enormous contributions to regional economies, and second, as the only way to improve the situation of those employed as sex workers. With a recognised sex sector, governments would be required to extend labour rights and protections to people who work in it. At the same time, the report unequivocally demands the eradication of child prostitution as a serious human rights violation and an intolerable form of child labour.

The Conference was held in La Habana, Cuba, from April 7 - 12, 2003. The first Latin-American conference happened in Rio de Janeiro on 2000. Cuba was chosen because of the low incidence of HIV (lowest in Latin America). Around 39 countries and more than 2000 participants attended the conference. Like always, there was a very low participation of sex workers.

A Prostitutes of New York (PONY) member reports on a visit from Subhash Thottiparambil, a sex worker rights advocate from Kerala, India.

MEDIA RELEASE
Monday, January 20, 2003

Network of Sex Work Projects responds to city murders

The international Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP — based in Cape Town) has reacted with shock and horror at the execution style murder of young men working in a City massage parlour earlier today. This is a tragic loss of the lives of young folk. The Network is an organisation that advocates around the health and human rights of sex workers at an international level.

Violence

Mon, 5 May 2003 23:51:09 -0300 (ART)
From: "Paulo Longo" phlongo2003@yahoo.com.br
To: letters@nationalreview.com, nronline@nationalreview.com
Subject: Letter to the editor

Dear Editor:

Donna Hughes (May 1, 2003, Accommodation or Abolition? Solutions to the problem of sexual trafficking and slavery) grossly misrepresents the international Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP). Her assertions are risible. The NSWP actively works against trafficking in persons, especially children, and lobbied for the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in 2001. The NSWP also works against the violation of civil liberties in the so-called 100% Condom Use Policy programmes, which are dangerously coercive and include forced physical examinations in unsterile and disease-promoting conditions.