Amnesty International has published their research The Human Cost of 'Crushing the Market: Criminalization of Sex Work in Norway to accompany their Policy on State Obligatoins to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers. Their research demonstrates that human rights abuses against sex workers in Norway are directly related to the criminalisation of clients and third parties in Norway. Amnesty International also found tha sex workers themselves were penalised and criminalised under the "Nordic Model". The resaerch is the result of three weeks of interviews with 54 sex workers in Norway as well as desk research.
Amnesty International has published their Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers. Amnesty International calls for the decriminalisation of all aspects of adult consensual sex work including all laws which criminalise sex workers, clients, and third parties. Amnesty International also calls for the end of the discriminatory enforcement of other laws against sex workers, such as vagrancy, loitering, and immigration requirements.
Gay Men, Transgender People and Sex Workers Outraged Over Failed Political Declaration From the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects, The Global Network of Trans Women and HIV (IRGT), Global Action for Trans Equality (GATE), and MSMGF (The Global Forum on MSM & HIV) together with the Global Platform to Fast-Track the HIV and Human Rights Responses Among Gay and Bisexual Men and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men (The Platform) are deeply disappointed by the adoption of a flawed Political Declaration today at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS (HLM). The Political Declaration inexcusably fails to meaningfully address the HIV epidemic among key populations, including gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs, and transgender people. The Final Declaration damagingly excludes and misrepresents key populations. It also lacks an explicit commitment to support and finance key population-led and tailored prevention, care, and treatment services. Likewise, it is woefully misses the mark in highlighting legal and policy frameworks that stigmatize and criminalize our communities worldwide. While the document opens with a sweeping “commitment to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” our networks and many of its global civil society allies contend that today’s Political Declaration is a significant set-back in our work to end AIDS, particularly among key populations.
The Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS Service Organisations (EANNASO) has published a Community Guide to the Global Fund's Key Population Action Plan 2014-2017. This guide provides an overview of who key populations are, why they are important, and what the Global Fund has planned for key populations from 2014 - 2017. The plan has five objectives to make sure key populations and their needs are included in every step of the grant cycle.
Gay men and sex workers worldwide express anger over attempts by governments to erase key populations from the 2016 UN Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS.
On May 27th, new draft language was released for the 2016 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS, which is scheduled to be finalized in New York City next week (Wednesday, June 8 to Friday, June 10) at the United Nations. The Global Network of Sex Work Projects and MSMGF (The Global Forum on MSM & HIV) together with the Global Platform to Fast-Track the HIV and Human Rights Responses Among Gay and Bisexual Men and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men (The Platform) are deeply concerned with numerous changes made in the new draft, which erase key populations from the global HIV response. As the final political declaration will be issued during next week’s United Nations High-level Meeting on HIV and AIDS, we urge our partners to take bold and fast actions now to influence decisions made by UN delegation members.
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.
Remembering Bedford is a summary of Arlene Jane Pitt’s research with 6 street-based sex workers in Toronto, Canada. She shows how street-based sex workers demonstrate resistance and resilience in the face of oppressive laws in Canada. She shows the impacts of criminalisation and how sex workers who use drugs sometimes need to rely on their drug dealers for safety. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.
In this article, Sharmus Outlaw, Jill McCracken, and Penelope Saunders provide an overview of the report Nothing About Us, Without Us: Sex Work, HIV, Policy, and Organizing. It focuses on the experiences of transgender people who are also sex workers or are profiled as sex workers and reveals how current HIV policies impact groups of people who are often silenced and excluded from policy debates. It is a joint project with Best Practices Policy Project and Desiree Alliance. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.
Jorge Flores-Aranda, Jonathan Bacon, and Claude Poisson provide an overview of the Sex Work Programme at Rézo, an organisation for men who have sex with men in Montréal, Canada. They argue male sex workers demonstrate resilience and resistence through the publication of the magazine the “Cowboy Urbain”. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.
Ishtar Lakhani from SWEAT and Duduzile Dlamini from SISONKE provide an overview of the programming at Mothers for the Future in South Africa. Mothers for the Future is a sex worker-led organisation run by mothers who do sex work. They show how mothers resist oppression and make tangible differences in the lives of mothers.
In Kampala, Uganda, there is a large network of sex worker-led organisations that unite under the umbrella organisation Uganda Harmonized Rights Alliance (UHRA). Paula Pönkänen and Hanna Jörneus argue that sex work organising in Uganda is a great example of how sex workers develop and implement their own programming. They provide an overview of sex worker-led programming in Kampala.
In this article, founding member of Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Network, Elene Lam, argues that migrant sex workers are excluded from the North American sex workers’ rights movement. Abolitionist feminists argue against sex workers’ rights by using the missing voices of migrant sex workers. Lam provides arguments for the inclusion of migrant sex workers in the movement to prevent this from happening.
NSWP’s editorial in Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience, provides an overview of sex workers’ resistance and resilience in Lyon, France from 1972 to 1975. In 1975 sex workers occupied the Saint Nizier Church in Lyon to demand their rights be respected. Their goal was to end the legal oppression of sex work and ensure sex workers’ rights are protected.
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.
This Statement on the Occasion of the if the UN General Assembly 2016 High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS by the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV & Human Rights contributes to the ongoing negotiations around the political declaration that will be adopted by the UN General Assembly on the 8-10 of June, 2016. The UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights offers a number of recommendations to Member States for the 2016 Political Declaration.
“If access to health care is considered a human right, who is considered human enough to have that right?” – Dr. Paul Farmer
We often say that words hold power, and as such they have to be carefully considered. On some occasions, this is truer than on others, and this is one of those occasions. World leaders, government representatives, HIV programme implementers and civil society organizations are currently preparing for the 2016 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS. They should be focusing on the future of the AIDS response. Instead, there have been intense negotiations on which words should be used to describe the global agenda during the next 5-year period.
NSWP welcomes Amnesty International’s Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfill the Human Rights of Sex Workers. Amnesty International calls for the decriminalisation of all aspects of adult consensual sex work including all laws which criminalise sex workers, clients, and third parties. Amnesty International also calls for the end of the discriminatory enforcement of other laws against sex workers, such as vagrancy, loitering, and immigration requirements.
NSWP wishes to clarify a number of issues in the light of some recent media coverage on the subject of the decriminalisation of sex work. Several articles have appeared recently that have made some alarmist and extremely misleading statements in response to an original article in the New York Times Magazine (published 5th May 2016).
As a sex worker-led global network with 262 member organisations across 77 countries from Africa, Asia Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and North America, representing tens of thousands of sex workers from diverse cultures and experiences, NSWP has a fundamental right to be involved in consultations around international and national policies that impact on sex workers’ lives and work. Attempting to silence sex workers by denying our agency and calling us pimps, traffickers and industry lobbyists is unacceptable.
The sex workers’ rights movement is committed to the full decriminalisation of sex work in the belief that it will help sex workers organise to eliminate exploitation, oppression and violence and address unfair and abusive working conditions instituted by state and non-state actors. Branding the decriminalisation of third parties as an attempt to ‘legalise pimps and brothel keeping’ undermines sex workers in their struggle for labour rights and justice.
This policy brief on the Decriminalisation of Sex Work in Kenya was written in collaborartion with the University of Amsterdam and NSWP member HOYMAS and KESWA. This policy brief argues that sex workers have the same rights as other citizens in Kenya as outlined in the Kenyan Constitution.
The EMPOWER Foundation Thailand report Moving Toward Decent Sex Work and its summary explores the protections offered to Thai sex workers under civil law and the application of other labour mechanisms to sex work. It provides an overview of the Thai sex industry and argues that to develop a reform process, people must hear how exploitation is defined and experienced by Thai sex workers. Decent Sex Work provides recommendations which are appropriate to prevent and address exploitation in sex work.