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This case study is the first of five case studies that will be published on a yearly basis from 2016-2021. These case studies will monitor and document the impact of international guidelines and policies on sex work that NSWP and NSWP members have helped develop. NSWP will also monitor how members use these international guidelines in local, national and regional advocacy efforts. Examples of international guidelines include the Amnesty International Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers, the Sex Worker Implementation Tool, and the development of the UN Women policy on sex work.

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

The Community, Rights, and Gender (CRG) Department of the Global Fund Secretariat has published this document which shares findings and recommendations for increasing the meaningful engagement of communities in all phases of Global Fund grants. The review summarises lessons learned and good practices for how communities engage meaningfully, and identifies key principles and strategic actions the Global Fund can take to ensure greater accountability between communities, Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs), other key stakeholders, and the Global Fund itself.

Theme: Health

Open Society Foundation have published No Turning Back: Examining Sex Worker-Led Programs that Protect Health and Rights. Stigma, criminal laws, and punitive policing practices harm sex workers, including their health. In response, a growing number of authorities across the world have called for the decriminalisation of sex work. The six case studies in this publication—in Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, South Africa, and Zimbabwe—offer a look at sex worker–led programming that has reduced police abuse, health risks, and other adverse impacts of bad laws and law enforcement on sex workers.

Download this resource: PDF icon No Turning Back, OSF - 2016.pdf
Theme: Health

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.

Theme: Human Rights

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.

Theme: Human Rights

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.

Theme: Human Rights

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

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 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.

This case study reflects on the development and impact of the Sex Worker Academy Africa (SWAA). The SWAA is a ground-breaking learning programme for community empowerment and capacity building, led by and for sex workers. The Academy brings together national teams of sex workers from across Africa to develop organising skills, learn best practices, stimulate national sex worker movements, and strengthen the regional network.

This case study reflects on the development and impact of the Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT), and NSWP's role in this process. The SWIT resource, produced by the World Health Organization, provides practical guidance for implementing effective HIV and STI programmes for sex workers. It emphasizes the importance of decriminalisation of sex work, the involvement of sex workers in developing policy, and the empowerment and self-determination of sex working communities as a fundamental part of the fight against HIV. An accessible 24-page Smart Guide to the SWIT is also available.

Theme: Health

This is a summary of the findings of the Economic Empowerment: Does Rehabilitation Have a Role? briefing paper and the Overcoming Practices that Limit Sex Worker Agency in the Asia Pacific Region briefing paper. In this summary, NSWP reflects on the impact of economic empowerment programmes for sex workers.

This is a summary of the Asia and the Pacific regional report on economic and social empowerment and the Africa regional report on economic empowerment programmes for sex workers. In this summary, NSWP reflects on best practices for the economic empowerment of sex workers, focusing on elements of successful economic empowerment programmes and describing lessons learnt from programmes that fail.

The Smart Sex Worker’s Guide to SWIT provides a short summary of the key points in Sex Worker Implemetation Tool (SWIT). The Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT) offers practical guidance on effective HIV and STI programming for sex workers. It provides evidence for the necessity of decriminalisation of sex work, the involvement of sex workers in developing policy, and the empowerment and self-determination of sex work communities as a fundamental part of the fight against HIV. This resource is based on the WHO, UNFPA, UNAIDS and NSWP 2012 recommendations on HIV and Sex Work. The guide can be used by sex workers and sex worker organisations who are designing or running programmes for sex workers. It may also be useful as an advocacy tool when advocating for rights-based services.

Download this resource: PDF icon Smart Guide to SWIT_PDF.pdf

This Africa Regional Report documents case studies of economic empowerment programmes in 6 African countries: Democratic Republic of Congo; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Nigeria; and Uganda. There are relatively few economic empowerment programmes for sex workers led by sex workers in Africa. As such this regional report evaluates both successful and failed economic empowerment programmes by sex worker-led organisations and non-sex worker-led organisations.

Download this resource: PDF icon SUSO Report Africa. final EN.pdf

Working Together is a guide to increase and improve the meaningful involvement of the community sector, including key population networks, local NGOs, ASOs, and networks of people living with HIV, in all aspects of national HIV responses, with an emphasis on national planning and decision-making processes.

Download this resource: PDF icon we work together EN.pdf
Theme: Health
This briefing paper discusses case studies on economic empowerment programmes for sex workers with rehabilitation elements, documented across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda. The case studies highlight factors that negatively affect sex workers’ participation in economic empowerment programmes and looks at some of the key lessons that have been learnt when implementing economic empowerment programmes for sex workers. A summary is also available.
Download this resource: PDF icon SUSO Africa BP_PDF version.pdf

This publication documents the lessons learned from the process of implementing a four-country research project on sex work and violence through the narratives and reflections of those who participated in the research since its inception in 2011. The publication was commissioned by the Centre for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalization (CASAM) in consultation with APNSW, UNDP, UNFPA and P4P (Asia-Pacific regional offices in Bangkok). Funding for the travel to conduct interviews towards this documentation was provided by UNDP.

Download this resource: PDF icon THE RIGHTS PROCESS.pdf

A workshop was recently held in Geneva that brought together leading experts in health and human rights, technical partners, representatives of networks of key populations and people living with HIV, donors, grant recipients, civil society organizations, scholars and Global Fund board members and staff.