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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

NSWP is calling on the Turkish government, Turkish police, and the Turkish justice system to take urgent action to uphold the human rights of male, female, and transgender sex workers. Sex workers have the same right to protection from the law and access to justice as other people. They also have the right to be treated with dignity and respect without discrimination. The occupation and gender identity of sex workers should never be used to deny access to justice, health services, or social services.

According to a 2015 survey by Transgender Europe entitled Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide Project, 79 percent of transgender sex workers interviewed in Turkey reported experiencing police harassment. According to the Project for the Mapping of Violence Against and Legal Support for Trans Sex Workers, one in every two sex workers has experienced violence, and 50 percent of this violence was perpetrated by the police.

Transgender sex workers in Turkey are particularly vulnerable to violence, including from the police. In May 2015, NSWP published an article about seven transgender women who were violently attacked in different cities across Turkey. Two days after these attacks, more than 100 people gathered in Ankara to protest about violence against transgender people in Turkey.

Today marks the 12th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. For twelve years, sex workers have used this day to highlight the need for action to end violence against sex workers. The issues faced by sex workers vary from region to region. These differences are due to different laws, social and cultural contexts, but one common issue faced by all sex workers is their vulnerability to and experience of violence.

Theme: Violence

This community-based research by the Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) is about sex workers’ experiences of state and non-state violence, and hindered attempts to access justice in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The study was undertaken in sixteen countries of our region, with local research teams comprised of sex workers and allies joining efforts. It provides an insight on how stigma and the criminalization of sex work enables daily violence and repression that sex workers face from police and non-state actors. This entails barriers to accessing legal aid and justice, as well as harm reduction, health or social services.

Theme: Violence

Sixty-five sex workers were arrested on Thursday 19th November in Kisii County, Kenya. The following day, the sex workers were taken to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital and tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The leading officer from the Kisii Governor’s Office, Mr. Patrick Lumumba, stated there were too many sex workers loitering the streets of Kisii, “spreading HIV and STIs to married men”.

This Policy Brief is a short summary of evidence for action drawn from: The Right(s) Evidence: Sex Work, Violence and HIV in Asia - A Multi-Country Study and recent key studies and guidance including The Lancet Special Series on Sex work and HIV and the WHO Consolidated Guidance for K

Theme: Health

The regional report of this multi-country study contains findings and recommendations to address violence experienced by sex workers in Asia.  Sex workers experience extreme physical, sexual, emotional and economic violence at work, in health care and custodial settings, in their neighbourhoods and in their homes. This violence denies sex workers their fundamental human rights — to equal protection under the law; protection against torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; and their right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Download this resource: PDF icon Rights-Evidence-Report-2015-final.pdf

This booklet has been written for women, men and transgender people working in the UK sex industry. It contains information and advice about keeping safe which mostly comes from those who know best – sex workers. It contains tips and strategies to protect their personal safety.

This booklet provides general safety advice for sex workers in different situations and different work places. It also provides guidance on personal safety such as to plan ahead before leaving to work, alcohol and drug use, and potential violent situations.

Theme: Violence

NSWP member SCOT-PEP have released a statement against Police Scotland's 'welfare visits' on sex workers who work from home. SCOT‐PEP is seeking an urgent meeting with SNP Ministers to request that the scheme be scrapped. Under "Operation Lingle" the police plan to pilot intimidating visits of this sort in Glasgow ahead of a planned rollout across Scotland. The operation is a clear violation of the rights of sex workers. In SCOT‐PEP's view "Operation Lingle" would undermine harm reduction strategies and destroy any remaining sex worker trust in the police. SCOT‐PEP's opposition to this scheme is shared by leading charity HIV Scotland, who described these raids as ‘concerning’ and called on Police Scotland to reconsider.

Download this resource: PDF icon SCOTPEPreleaseonOperationLingle.pdf

This resource is a note by NSWP members Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP) and SANGRAM. It summarizes the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women in India with regards to her observations made in relation to sex worker rights in India. It highlights that the Special Rapporteur called on the Indian Government to review the problematic ITPA (Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act) legislation which criminalizes women in sex work and to take measures to protect the human rights of sex workers.

Download this resource: PDF icon VAW and Sex work India April 2014.pdf

The Chinese government is arbitrarily detaining sex workers through a flawed government policy purportedly aimed at education and rehabilitation, Asia Catalyst said in a new report released in December 2013.

The report documents excessive use of force by police in the detention of female sex workers, as well as the women's subsequent incarceration in the little-known "Custody and Education (C&E)" system.

This resource builds on INCITE's substantial background in issues faced by women of colour, criminalised or street-based communities, and queer and trans youth, particularly around police and state violence. It focuses on how "police violence against sex workers is not perceived by mainstream organisations as either police brutality, or violence against women, when it is clearly a manifestation of both".

You can download this 4 page PDF resource above. this resource is in English.

Download this resource: PDF icon 4668_toolkitrev-sexwork.pdf

In 2011, the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) commissioned Kaitiaki to undertake an in-depth investigation to understand better the issues facing migrant sex workers in New Zealand especially with regard to occupational health and safety, and reproductive health.

Theme: Labour

This press release accompanies the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health policy briefing on transgender rights and HIV in the region. The press release details the health crisis that faces transgender people in Asia Pacific, and calls for more and better quality research and data that is transgender specific, rather than treating transgender people as a subset of MSM. It recommends strategies to tackle the stigma and marginalisation that make transgender people so vulnerable to HIV and discrimination.

Download this resource: PDF icon APTN IDAHOT Release May 17 (2).pdf

Research for Sex Work 12: Sex Work and Violence is a peer-reviewed publication for sex workers, activists, health workers, researchers, NGO staff and policy makers. It is available in English and Russian. All issues of Research for Sex Work can be found here.

Theme: Violence

Research for Sex Work 8: Sex Work and Law Enforcement is a peer-reviewed publication for sex workers, activists, health workers, researchers, NGO staff and policy makers. It is available in English. All issues of Research for Sex Work can be found here.

Download this resource: PDF icon research-for-sex-work-8-english.pdf