Sex Worker Community Responses

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NSWP are gathering sex worker community responses to the COVID-19 pandemic through our COVID-19 Impact Survey. We want to hear how COVID-19 has impacted sex workers and sex worker organisations and their communities, and how they are supporting one another during this crisis. Here responses have been grouped in to two categories: emergency funds and mutual aid, and resources. The list is being regularly updated. If you have something to add, please consider completing our survey or email communications@nswp.org.

Emergency funds and mutual aid

Resources

 

Emergency funds and mutual aid

    Africa

    Senegal

    And Soppeku – And Soppeku, with the support of the Equality Fund, undertook the distribution of food kits and hygiene kits for members of three regions of Senegal (Dakar, Thies, and Kaolack)

    South Africa

    Covid-19 Relief for Sex Workers: Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce and Sisonke, National Movement of Sex Workers in South Africa have created a solidarity fundraiser for sex worker allies to donate directly to sex workers who may need emergency financial relief to be able to afford basic living needs during the Coronavirus pandemic. Their aim is to provide as many one-off funds (ranging from R500 (30$) – R1000 (60$) to as many sex workers in need.

     

    Europe

    Austria

    Red Edition Emergency Fund for Sex Workers: Fundraising for financial support and protection for sex workers.

    Belgium

    UTSOPI Urgent Help and Support for Sex Workers in Belgium: UTSOPI is already in contact with many of its organisations in order to release food and hygiene resources, as well as to urge the government to put in place structural solutions for the most precarious in this period of doubts and uncertainties. UTSOPI has set up a fund for donations to set up food packages, provide essential hygiene products and provide help and support to isolated and precarious sex workers.

    France

    Acceptess-Transgenre: Acceptess-Transgenre are accepting donations via their website.

    Germany

    BesD Emergency Fund: All donations go to sex workers in emergency situations, who are not entitled to state aid. To apply for aid from the BesD Emergency Fund, contact a counselling centre near you (many addresses can be found on their website), or contact the BesD team directly at directly at notfallfonds@besd-ev.de.

    Greece

    Red Umbrella Athens and Positive Voice: Red Umbrella Athens, Positive Voice, and local sex workers are calling for support by creating an emergency fund to be able to secure for those most vulnerable food and basic necessities, but also to cover basic living expenses like rent, electricity, etc.

    Ireland

    Ugly Mugs Emergency Fund:  The Emergency Fund will initially be making payments at a flat rate of £100 (Northern Ireland) or €100 (Republic of Ireland) per person. Fill out the form on their website to apply for an emergency payment. Emergency payments are only for persons who have worked as an in-person sex worker in Ireland 1-23 March 2020 and who are currently in financial crisis due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

    Sex Workers Alliance Ireland Hardship Fund: This money will go directly into the hands of sex workers through individual emergency payments.

    Netherlands

    Dutch Emergency Fund: This project supports people who are in direct financial need because their income is lost. All donations go to people who are currently in need of money. Each applicant receives 40 euros for basic supplies and costs, such as groceries, medicines, emergency transport and calling credit. Money is distributed by local sex worker organisations.

    North Macedonia

    STAR Emergency Fund: STAR - The First Sex Workers Collective in the Balkans has launched a charity campaign to raise money for sex workers in the Republic of North Macedonia, who are in a desperate need of financial help.

    Poland

    Emergency Fund for Sex Workers by Sex Work Polska: The funds collected under the Crisis Fund will go to sex workers who have found themselves in a difficult situation due to a pandemic - e.g. experiencing a crisis (homelessness, emotional distress, threat of deportation), lacking funds to meet basic needs – buying food, medicines or paying rent.

    Spain

    Emergency Fund for Sex Workers: AFEMTRAS, Aprosex, (N) .OMADAS and the OTRAS union have decided to create a new collective in order to reach a greater number of the community in  precarious situations. They are fundraising for an Emergency Fund for Sex Workers and have supported more than 80 workers in extreme situations to date.

    Sweden

    Fuckförbundet: Fuckförbundet are accepting donations via their website.

    United Kingdom

    SWARM Collective: A hardship fund for sex workers in crisis. All donations made to SWARM from 13th March - 30th April will go directly to this fund, and will provide mutual aid to sex workers in the UK who are in severe financial hardship.

    Umbrella Lane: Umbrella Lane is developing innovative ways of reaching the communities they exist to support. Their intention is to maintain connections, support mental health and wellness, and reduce isolation through working with skilled specialists in various areas of practical and holistic support. They are facilitating workshops and courses that will be crowd-sourced so that sex workers tell them what they need most and they find an expert and bring their top tips and learnings to the community.

     

    Asia and the Pacific

    Australia

    Scarlet Alliance Emergency Support Fund for Sex Workers in Australia: Scarlet Alliance and state and territory member organisations have joined together to create an ongoing fund to make donations directly available to sex workers who need emergency financial relief in order to support them to stay safe, housed and fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is being overseen by sex worker organisations and run by sex worker organisation staff and volunteers across Australia. All money donated goes directly to sex workers in need.

    SWOP Australia: SWOP Australia are accepting donations on their website.

    India

    National Network of Sex Workers, India: NNSW are collecting donations in order to provide food kits for sex workers that will last for a month.

    All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW): AINSW is calling for support in order to provide sex workers with food, house rents, milk for children, medicine etc. They have shared their account details for donations on their Facebook page.

    Durbar Mahila: Durbar Mahila is supporting sex-workers from the red light districts in Kolkata with food and essential commodities. For that purpose, they are asking for financial support from individuals, organisations and public administrations. You can find their banking details on their website.

    Singapore

    Project X: Project is handing out vouchers to sex workers in need and offering support to sex workers through live videos on Facebook.

    Thailand

    Empower Thailand: Empower Thailand has been very reactive on social networks, reporting the effect of COVID-19 on the community and demanding emergency support from the government. They have also been distributing care packages.

     

    Latin America

    PLAPERTS is an NSWP member and the regional platform for Latin America. They have set up an emergency fundraising campaign, with funds being allocated to support sex workers in Latin America.

    Argentina

    Ammar Córdoba: Ammar Córdoba are running a fundraising campaign titled, "LXS TRABAJADORXS SEXUALES TAMBIÉN IMPORTAMOS" ("Sex Workers also matter"). If you donate to the campaign then you have the chance to be entered into a raffle to win prizes such as an online courses for clothing design and bread making.

    Ammar Cordoba flyer

    AMMAR Argentina: AMMAR have established a national collection to establish an emergency fund for sex workers and are sharing their banking information for direct deposits.

    Brazil

    GEMPAC (Group of Women Prostitutes in the State of Pará): GEMPAC registered women in the downtown area of Belem to receive food baskets and is working together with public officials to guarantee that the support promised by the State makes it to sex workers. A virtual channel was also opened up to facilitate communication with sex workers about Covid-19 along with a food drive for sex workers and their family.

    APROSMIG (Association of Sex Workers in Minas Gerais): APROSMIG organised a campaign for donations of money, food, cleaning products and personal hygiene for sex workers and the homeless. They have also been working with local officials and hotel owners in the Guaicurus red light district to guarantee sex workers unable to return to their homes have a place to live and food while the hotels are closed.

    Coletivo Clã das Lobas, Together We Are Stronger Fund: The hotels on Rua dos Guaicurus and its surroundings are being closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. In these hotels, women from all over the country work, who are currently helpless. So far, a building for temporary housing, mattresses and bedding has been made available. But they are still in need of food, personal hygiene and cleaning supplies.

    APROS-PB (Sex Worker Associaton of Paraiba): Through negotiations with local public officials, the organisation has been able to guarantee food baskets and personal hygiene kits for sex workers in the João Pessoa metropolitan area. Contact:  +55 83 98872-0955

    AMPSAP (Amapá Association of Women Sex Workers): Through negotiations with local public officials, the organisation has registered sex workers to be able to receive food baskets during this period of social isolation. Tel: +55 96 9912-5653 WhatsApp +55 96 9185-4629

    APRORN (Sex Worker Associaton of Rio Grande do Norte): Busy organizing donations and working with local officials to guarantee food baskets for sex workers. A virtual communication network was also created to facilitate communication with sex workers about COVID-19 and provide support during this period of social isolation. Tel: +55 84 98806-5395, +55 84 3033-1651

    APROSMA (Maranhão State Sex Workers Association): Almost all of the brothels and bars have been closed in São Luis and APROSMA is working with the Secretariat of Human Rights to guarantee food baskets to sex workers and other needy populations. Soon more information will be available about an online campaign to receive financial donations. Tel: +55 98 8419-0077

    Mulheres da Luz (Women of the Light): Mulheres da Luz have started a campaign to support the sex workers of São Paulo. The campaign is accepting donations of money and food products (like food baskets) and hygiene (soap, toothpaste, and alcohol in gel).

    Chile

    Fundation Margen: Fundation Margen in Chili has a fundraising initiative in Santiago. They are receiving food and donations to this address : Portugal 623 of 11, Santiago, Chile.

    Colombia

    Red Comunitaria Trans Relief Fund: Red Comunitaria Trans in Colombia has set up a relief found for trans women sex workers in Bogota.

    Ecuador

    Sindicato de Trabajadorxs Sexuales de Quito Fund: Sindicato de Trabajadorxs Sexuales de Quito has set up a fund on gofundme to support sex workers as well as to outline the effects of governmental responses to COVID-19 on the sex-worker community

    Guatemala

    OTRANS Guatemala: OTRANS has called for support and donations in order to support trans sex workers, especially the elderly, in their access to essential supplies.

    Mexico

    La Brigada Callejera: La Brigada Callejera is seeking donations to support their campaign to demand support and supplies from the government of Mexico.

    Peru

    Asociación de Trabajadoras Sexuales Miluska Vida y Dignidad: Miluska Vuda y Dignidad from Peru is collecting funds to distribute among those mothers who cannot access the Social Bonus from the State.

     

    North America and the Caribbean

    Canada

    Maggie's Toronto and Butterfly: Asian/Migrant Sex Worker Support Network Emergency Fund: Maggie's Toronto and Butterfly: Asian/Migrant Sex Worker Support Network are building an emergency fund for sex workers in crisis. Applications to the fund can be made via their website.

    PACE Society’s Sex Worker Relief Fund: This Fund will distribute critical financial relief to sex workers in Metro Vancouver based on need and social marginalisation. Applications for funding will be reviewed on a confidential basis by a committee made up of sex workers.

    POWER Emergency Fund: This fund is available to current sex workers in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. POWER are prioritising applications from low-income, migrant, sick, disabled, and QT/BIPOC sex workers. People who work in any type of sex work are welcome to apply, and all applications will be kept confidential.

    United States

    Sex Worker Emergency Relief Grant Fund for Rhode Island sex workers: COYOTE RI have launched a Sex Worker Emergency Relief Grant Fund for Rhode Island sex workers who are experiencing hardship during COVID-19. An application form to apply for funds is available on their Go Fund Me page.

    Transgender Emergency Fund: From LGBT Center Intercultural Collective Inc and Lorena Borjas Community Fund this campaign to raise an emergency fund has been created to help members of our community who need it most. All donations made to the LGBT Center Intercultural Collective Inc and Lorena Borjas Community Fund from March 17 to April 30 will go directly to this fund and provide mutual assistance to community partners in New York City and who are in serious financial difficulties.

    Lysistrata: Lysistrata are accepting donations via their website. For years they have been collecting and distributing funds for the purposes of providing financial assistance to marginalised members of the sex worker community who are struggling due to illness, injury, homelessness, wrongful arrest/incarceration, unstable or abusive working conditions, domestic violence, discrimination and other factors that affect their ability to make a living.

    Emergency COVID Fund for R.I. Dancers / FS Workers: This fund will be providing monetary aid to workers in Rhode Island who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The group, primarily dancers and FS workers, are asking for donations and help from allies, clients, organisations, and workers not impacted by the pandemic so that they can take care of their community during this uncertain time.

    Sex Worker ER Grant Fund: BAWS (Bay Area Workers Support) is re-introducing one of their community care structures by offering emergency grants for sex workers experiencing hardships during COVID-19. They are able to give small grants of $50 - $200 to current sex workers in the Bay Area who depend on sex work to pay their bills and do not have other forms of support.

    Mutual Aid Support for Black Trans Women Navigating Sex Work: This Mutual Aid Support was initiated as a result of a donation from an ally of $6,000 with a vision to provide $500 a month for 12 months to a black trans women who is navigating sex work to go towards housing, the funds are not restricted and should be used however you may feel and need. One person will receive support at the end of every month.

    Sex Worker Aid initiative: The Greenlight Project is a Seattle-based Harm Reduction effort that provides direct outreach to street-based sex workers and people who use drugs. This fund is raising money to support sex workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Seattle and the surrounding areas.

    Twin Cities Queer and Trans Mutual Aid: The idea behind this is to crowd source some mutual aid for queer/trans/nonbinary folks in the Twin Cities area, who are affected by Covid-19 or the current situation.

    SWEET AZ: A Tucson-based sex worker collective focused on collecting and distributing emergency funds for the purpose of providing financial assistance to marginalised members of their local community.

    Emergency COVID Relief for SWers in New York (sponsored by SWOP Brooklyn): This relief fund will be providing monetary aid to sex workers in the New York City area who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Relief Fund for Black Folks in NY (sponsored by DecrimNY): A relief fund to support Black New Yorkers through the COVID-19 crisis.

    Black NYC COVID-19 Volunteering: Volunteering support being run and supported by the NYC Chapter of BYP100. Fill in a form to volunteer to support the needs of those directly and indirectly impacted by the coronavirus.  They are prioritising providing support to BLACK folk exclusively at this time, particularly Black trans folks, Black trans sex workers and Black migrants.

    SWOP Behind Bars: SWOP Behind Bars meet a variety of needs that incarcerated women face while serving their sentence as well as a once they are released. Incarcerated sex workers leave prison with nothing other than the clothes on their back, a bus ticket and $50.  SWOP Behind Bars help to make the transition easier by helping with the barest of necessities.

    DSW Mutual Aid Fund: The Detroit Sex Worker Mutual Aid Fund is a financial resource-sharing space created by Michigan-based sex workers to provide necessary support for fellow sex workers and their families. Sex workers who are based in Michigan or whose hustle is Michigan-centric in any way are invited to access the fund.

    Whose Corner Is It Anyway: Whose Corner Is It Anyway is a Western MA mutual aid, harm reduction, political education, and organizing group led by stimulant and opioid using low-income, survival, or street-based sex workers.

     

    Resources

    Africa

      African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), NSWP Regional Network

      ASWA has developed a sheet with safety tips for sex workers. They are also posting updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

      Democratic Republic of the Congo

      A coalition of sex-workers led group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (HODSAS, UMANDE and ACODHU-TS) have published a report on the Situation of Sex Workers in the Border Town of Bukavu/DR. Congo After Two Weeks of Total Confinement Due to COVID-19

      Uganda

      Kabarole Women Health Support Initiative, in Uganda, has published guidelines for sex workers.

       

      Asia and the Pacific

      Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), NSWP Regional Network

      Follow APNSW on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with their work in this fast moving environment.

      Australia

      Scarlet Alliance have put together a guide on getting started in online/non-contact work.

      Japan

      SWASH, a sex worker group based in Japan has released a guide on working safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Singapore

      Project X have published a COVID-19 poster on how to deal with stress on their Facebook page.

       

      Europe

      The International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE), NSWP Regional Network

      The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) has published its demands to European institutions and national governments, including emergency income replacement, a moratorium on fines, arrests and prosecution related to sex work and immigration status, access to health care for all and regularisation of undocumented migrants. They are also posting updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.


      The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network for Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (SWAN), NSWP Regional Network

      SWAN have released a statement on COVID-19 and demands of sex workers. They are urging all governments to take necessary measures in order to minimise the devastating effects of COVID-19 on sex workers and other marginalised communities. They are also posting updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

      The European Network for the Promotion of Rights and Health among Migrant Sex Workers (TAMPEP)

      TAMPEP are collating a list of COVID-19 Migrant Sex Workers and Sex Worker Responses. Information on the list is being updated regularly.

      France

      The Syndicat du Travail Sexuel (STRASS) have gathered information on their website regarding prevention, harm reduction, access to medical treatment and care as well as current actions and hotlines held by community associations.

      Germany

      BesD has published a page of information on Coronavirus and the situation for sex workers and the sex work industry in Germany.​ This page is being regularly updated and is available in German and English.

      Netherlands

      Sex Work Expertise in the Netherlands has provided information about the financial and legal side of the income support for sex workers (self-employed / ZZP’ers, opting-inners and migrants).

      Norway

      PION have developed a page of information about the corona situation for people selling sex in Norway.

      Pro Center - Oslo Municipality’s service for sex workers and a national centre of expertise, has published the report "The exclusion of persons who sell sexual services in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic"  The report is based on work Pro Center did together with PION.

      United Kingdom

      English Collective of Prostitutes is demanding emergency payments and worker status from the government so that sex workers can get the same entitlements and protections as other workers. 

      Latin America

      Plataforma LatinoAmerica de Personas que EjeRcen el Trabajo Sexual (PLAPERTS), NSWP Regional Network

      PLAPERTS are running a Zoom session on coping with the emotional impact of COVID-19. They are also posting updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

      Brazil

      In Brazil the Observatório da Prostituição  is editing a list of national initiatives taken by sex-workers, which is being regularly updated.

       

      North America and the Caribbean

      Caribbean Sex Workers Coalition (CSWC), NSWP Regional Network

      The CSWC works in areas of advocacy and human rights for sex workers. 

      United States

      California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance has shared a resource for undocumented people. It includes some resources that may be relevant for migrant sex workers in California.

      COYOTE-RI has collected a list of resources including information about reproductive health, working online under FOSTA/SESTA, and other materials to support sex workers.