NSWP is part of Bridging the Gaps – health and rights for key populations. Together with almost 100 local and international organisations Bridging the Gaps partners have united to reach one mission: achieving universal access to HIV/STI prevention, treatment, care and support for key populations, including sex workers, LGBT people and people who use drugs. Bridging the Gaps has published their 2015 Report, which summarises the activities of its funding recipients in the period from September 2011 to December 2015.
According to the report, over the past four years more than 1,000,000 people around the globe have benefited from the programming of a Bridging the Gaps recipient.
The report highlights activities from all key population networks. Of those activities that were sex worker-led, the report highlighted the achievements of the Women’s Organisation Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA). WONETHA, through funding from Bridging the Gaps, participated in a paralegal training. These paralegals then provided legal services to sex workers in the community. This resulted in 80 sex workers being released from the police and 46 sex workers released on court bail.
Another initiative that was highlighted in the report is the Sex Worker Academy Africa (SWAA). NSWP, in collaboration with the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), trained 118 sex workers from 13 countries through the SWAA. The organisation is a pan-African resource centre, which aims to build the capacity of sex worker-led organisations to advocate for rights-based programming and implement their own services. NSWP wrote an extensive case study about these trainings, which can be read here.
The report also highlights the successes of past BtG recipients. For example, in Vietnam, the Vietnamese Network of Sex Workers participated in a national gender-sensitive needs assessment. The success of the Vietnamese network influenced the Country Coordinating Mechanism to include 18 sex worker-led organisations in the Concept Note to The Global Fund. These organisations, previously funded by BtG, now hold a three-year Global Fund grant for HIV prevention programmes for sex workers.
The BtG report also draws attention to the difficulties faced by key populations when accessing funding provided by The Global Fund. As of 2012, only 47 countries reported participation of key populations in their Country Coordinating Mechanism (CMM), out of the 151 countries where the Global Fund operates. The report also highlights the shifts in funding priorities of The Global Fund, which will negatively impact sex worker-led organising in middle-income countries.
In 2014, the Global Fund adopted the Sex Work and HIV Implementation tool (SWIT) as a guidance mechanism for sex work programming. This was a result of advocacy by NSWP. NSWP wrote a case study about the SWIT, which can be read here, and the Global Fund, which can be read here.
NSWP encourages members to read the full Bridging the Gaps report here.