Regional updates: Asia and the Pacific

Our members are listed on the left or you can click the red umbrellas on the map.

Regional Board Members

Sherry Sherqueshaa (Project X), Singapore

Regional Network

The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) is a sex worker-led network whose members include national sex worker-led networks, sex worker-led organisations and community-based sex work projects representing female, male and transgender sex workers. APNSW was founded in 1994 at the International AIDS Conference in Japan and is based in Bangkok, Thailand.

News articles from Asia and the Pacific region are listed below.

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A sex worker in New Zealand has won a sexual harassment case against a business owner, including a six-figure settlement to compensate for "emotional harm and lost earnings", the country’s human rights commission has said.

14th December 2020 by NSWP

In October we reported on The National Human Rights Commission, India who had issued an advisory recognising sex workers as informal workers. The 11-page advisory titled 'Human Rights Advisory on rights of Women in Context of COVID-19' listed recommendations for sex workers under the women at work section.

16th November 2020 by NSWP

The National Human Rights Commission, India have issued an advisory recognising sex workers as informal workers. The 11-page advisory titled 'Human Rights Advisory on rights of Women in Context of COVID-19' lists recommendations for sex workers under the women at work section.

14th October 2020 by NSWP

On Thursday 24th September, the Bombay High Court released three sex workers detained at a woman’s hostel and declared that adult women have the right to choose their vocation and cannot be detained without consent.

Reporting on the judgement, the Hindustan Times wrote:

5th October 2020 by NSWP

The government of Maharashtra, India, has acknowledged the challenges faced by sex workers during the COVID-19 pandemic with a new government resolution issued on 23 July. The resolution asks district officials to provide free rations and all essential services to women who are dependent on sex work.

As reported in The Hindu, this is the first time that sex work has been recognised as work in this way.

27th July 2020 by NSWP

Sex workers in India are speaking out against a study by academics from Yale School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.

14th July 2020 by NSWP

In April 2020, NSWP launched a global survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers. To date, the survey has received 156 responses from 55 different countries. 18 of these responses were from 11 countries – Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam – in the Asia-Pacific region. 

18th June 2020 by NSWP

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe, sex workers are mostly being forgotten about in government responses. This week the Guardian published a report on the experiences of sex workers in New Zealand, outlining their access to emergency wage subsidies and other state benefits.

29th April 2020 by NSWP

NSWP are conducting a survey to monitor and report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sex workers and sex worker organisations and their communities.

We are sharing the stories and experiences of organisations from around the world, as reported to us, in order to gain an insight into what governments are doing – and not doing – to support sex workers and sex worker organisations and how the sex worker community are responding to the crisis.

15th April 2020 by NSWP

China has brought an end to the use of forced labour as punishment for those prosecuted under anti-sex work laws. Although sex work is still criminalised in the country, national media in China has reported that the detention system came to an end at the end of December 2019, and those in custody will be released. 

9th January 2020 by NSWP