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In 2015, NSWP member Silver Rose submitted this shadow report to the CEDAW committee review of the Russian Federation.  The shadow report is based on information collected by Silver Rose during their day-to-day work with sex workers in St. Petersburg, Silver Rose documentation of human rights abuses, and analysis of media representations across Russia.

Theme: Human Rights

The Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), along with the Red Umbrella Programme, a network of 19 South Africa sex worker programmes and 560 peer educators supported by SWEAT, has developed this guide on best practices to comprehensive sex work programming. The guide provides an overview of meaningful sex worker involvement and strategies of moving from programmes “for” to programmes “with” and “by” sex workers.

Download this resource: PDF icon Good Practice Guide, SWEAT - 2015.pdf
Theme: Health

Public Association Amelia, the only organisation that provides services to sex workers, has published their report Documenting Human Rights Abuse in the Republic of Kazakhstan with financial support from SWAN. The report is about sex work, violence, and HIV in Kazakhstan. It describes the violence experienced by sex workers and how this increases the vulnerability of sex workers to STIs.

Theme: Human Rights

The National Empowerment Network for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK), the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA), the Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP) and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) have published their report Speaking Out: Personal Testimonies of Rights Violations Experienced by Sex Workers in Kenya. This report focuses on human rights violations among female sex workers living with HIV. It is based on a literature review and interviews conducted in May 2014 among 30 sex workers living with HIV in six counties: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Machakos, Kisumu, and Busia. 

Theme: Human Rights

Kenyan sex workers continue to suffer human rights violations. Sex workers also bear a  disproportionately large burden of HIV. This could be significantly reduced by a rights-based approach to their health needs. This research by GNP+ focuses on the human rights violations that female sex workers living with HIV face when they access healthcare services. It also highlights violations by law enforcement officers that impact on sex workers’ vulnerability to and ability to manage HIV.

Theme: Human Rights

This ICRSE briefing paper explores the diverse experiences and realities of LGBT sex workers and the intersection of LGBT rights and sex workers’ rights. It also calls upon the LGBT movement to build an alliance with sex workers and their organisations and actively support sex workers’ rights and the decriminalisation of sex work.

Theme: Human Rights

In New Zealand, the Prostitution Reform Act was passed in 2003. Its purpose is to decriminalise prostitution. Following the Act, the Department of Labour, in cooperation with the New Zealand Prostitues Collective (NZPC), developed the Occupational Health & Safety guidelines for the sex industry. This article looks at the development and effects of the New Zealand approach. It was written by members of the NZPC and was published as part of Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work.

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.

Sex workers are often talked about as facing high rates of violence, significant exposure to STIs, as well as work-related psychological stress. Yet even as sex workers are called ‘at risk’ by researchers and  health professionals, their health needs are unaddressed or unknown in many conventional health care settings. Peer-led health services provider Persist researched sex workers' experiences and with health services, as well as and what sex workers themselves wanted.

Theme: Health

This article discusses sex worker organising in the United States. It's full title is 'United States Organising: It Is Not Okay to De-Legitimise Sex Work Under Guise of Trafficking and End Demand'. It was written by Cris Sardina of the Desiree Alliance, Penelope Saunders of the Best Practices Policy Project (BPPP) and others from local communities in the US. The article was published as part of Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work. Contents include:

In 2013, the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (HTICs) were launched in New York. These courts were the USA's first statewide human trafficking intervention within a justice system. This research explores the impact of these courts through studying 364 cases in 2013 and 2014. It concludes that the HTICS do not respect the human rights of the people they process and distort the line between consent and coercion. This makes it more difficult for people who are victimised – by clients, ‘pimps’, police, and courts – to seek justice.

This research investigates sex workers’ opinions on support services in Berlin, Germany. In Berlin, support services for sex workers range from financial, health and legal support to psychosocial counselling and support with issues of migration, etc. Most are carried out by social workers at NGOs targeted at sex workers. While some of these NGOs advocate for sex worker rights, many aim to ‘rescue’ sex workers and to abolish sex work. The researcher concludes there is a discrepancy between support services demand and supply. This article was published in Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work.

These are the final versions of the WHO technical briefs on young key populations and HIV. NSWP has also published the earlier draft versions of these papers such as the draft technical brief on HIV and young people who sell sex.

Theme: Health

NSWP member Stella produced 9 fact sheets for sex workers in Canada. The fact sheets provide important information about the changes to Canadian law (the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, 2014) that criminalise sex workers, clients, and third parties. The fact sheets offer practical tools for sex workers and explain how the new laws negatively impact sex workers.

This resource outlines the targets, goals, vision and strategies of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). It recommends decriminalisation of sex work as part of an effective HIV response: "The decriminalization of sex work could prevent people from acquiring HIV through combined effects on violence, police harassment, safer work environments and HIV transmission pathways."

This articles outlines the benefits and shortcomings of German sex work laws. It also describes the danges of  forthcoming revisions to Germany's policies. This article was written by Hydra e.V. and pubished as part of Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work.

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

This article explores the origins, use and meaning of the term ‘sex work’. It is written by sex worker and PhD student Elena Jeffreys and was published in Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work.

This training manual by the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) is specifically designed for sex workers and sex worker-led organisations who want to engage in advocacy and activism on issues related to sex work, HIV and human rights. It can also be used by service providers and allies who want to support meaningful participation and the leadership of sex workers in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of HIV programming.

This is the 14th issue of NSWP's quarterly newsletter ‘Sex Work Digest’, covering the period October to December 2015. In addition to the important news stories during the quarter, this issue features a large number of new NSWP advocacy tools and other publications launched in the preceding 3 months.

Download this resource: PDF icon SW Digest Issue 14 Oct - Dec 2015.pdf
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