Regional updates: Asia and the Pacific

Cambodia’s Council of Ministry Government spokesperson, Phay Siphan, stated on 20 October, 2014, that his comments that condemning internationally recognised anti-trafficker, Somaly Mam, should be reiterated.

27th October 2014 by NSWP

Somaly Mam, former executive director of the Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF), who was forced to resign from her position within the organisation in May 2014, due to allegations that she had deliberately fabricated key aspects of both her personal history, and those of the children being cared for by her organisation for explicit financial gain; has been officially banned by the Khmer Government from running another anti-trafficking NGO.

21st October 2014 by NSWP

Indian HIV advocate groups, including sex workers, are concerned that government supplies of critical antiretroviral (ARV) medications (tenofovir/lamivudine) which are supplied free of charge, are under threat. The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Director General, Gen. A.S. Rathore, stated that the situation would potentially affect 150,000 people living with HIV who rely on free ARVs.

21st October 2014 by NSWP

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Indian sex workers in Bangalore, Karnataka State, have challenged National Crime Records Bureau statistics which suggest that the city has the second highest number of trafficked people in the country. The Bureau based this assertion on the number of people charged under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1956; however, sex worker activists say that the data is flawed as it includes the arrest of sex workers, not just people engaged in trafficking activities.

22nd September 2014 by NSWP

Municipal policy makers in Ho Chi Minh City submitted a report to the Ministry of Social Affairs on Monday 15 September 2014, claiming that the local sex industry has dramatically expanded in size over the past 10 years despite the criminalisation of sex work and active policing of sex work venues.

18th September 2014 by NSWP

North Korean women suspected of, and/or engaging in, sex work in Chinese towns along the North Korean border are being systemically deported to North Korea, according to a source in the Chinese province of Liaoning.

18th September 2014 by NSWP

Sydney sex workers are extremely pleased at the reception they received from the wider community following their protest action at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) over the weekend. The annual FODI was held at Sydney’s iconic Opera House over 30-31 August, and featured a number of speakers with firmly established abolitionist perspectives of sex work.

8th September 2014 by NSWP

Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas slammed by activists for promoting anti-sex work themes and excluding a sex worker perspective

The line-up at the 2014 Festival Of Dangerous Ideas has been heavily criticised by Australian sex worker activists for its anti-sex work themes and speakers. Presented by the Sydney Opera House and the St James Ethics Centre, the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) is an annual event which bills itself as bringing together “leading thinkers and culture creators from around the world” to “bring contentious ideas to the fore and challenge mainstream thought and opinion.”

29th August 2014 by NSWP