Resources: Sex Work, Migration, & Mobility

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This report was commissioned and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and
implemented by the Sex Work Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT). The mixed methods
component of the research also received financial support from Atlantic Philanthropies.
 

This report reflects the voices and opinions of 140 participants, including resource persons and sex workers, at the first Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation on HIV and Sex Work, held on October 2010 in Pattaya, Thailand. It covers critical components of the HIV and sex work responses, and four key areas – namely, creating an enabling legal and policy environment, ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights, eliminating violence against sex workers, and addressing migration and mobility in the context of HIV and sex work.

Sex workers are highly mobile populations, moving both within and accross national boundaries, as either documented or undocumented labour.  However, labour laws rarely, if ever, offer protection and benefits to local or migrant sex workers.  Migration and mobility factors that can significantly increase the vulnerability of sex workers to HIV and sexually transmitted infections, in large part due to their undocumented status including lack of work permits, poor working conditions in some cases, lack of access to health care, occupational health and safety standards, and other forms of labour protection. 

Governments and the United Nations have recognised the need to address the legal and policy barriers and stigma and discrimination faced by sex workers in order to respond to the HIV epidemic.  In many countries, laws, policies and practices against sex workers limit their right to basic social economic rights such as access to education, health care, housing, banking facilities, inheritance, property and legal services.  They may also lack citizenship or legal status, resulting from migration or unfavourable regulations, which can lead to exclusion of sex workers from health services, social programmes and communities.

Short report in English of the work of the UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work during 2010.

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.

This is an essay on the construction of place as it relates to the motivations for women to leave the places of their birth in search of new places to live and work.