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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Further to our January news story the head of the Australian charity 'The Grey Man' has stepped down.

29th March 2012 by NSWP

APNSW share examples of good practice in sex work HIV programming.

9th March 2012 by NSWP

Article by VAMP (Reproduced from

Sex workers in a small town in Maharashtra, India, march for change on 3rd March, International Sex Workers Rights Day.

8th March 2012 by NSWP
In an interesting article in Xtra! NGO journalist Paula Stromberg examines the work of the Women's Network for Unity in Cambodia.
6th March 2012 by NSWP

American academic Heidi Hoefinger has spent seven years researching the local hostess bar scene, and come up with some surprising findings.

3rd March 2012 by NSWP

Source: Rights Work Initiative

In her book Illicit Flirtations, Rhacel Parrenas provides us with cutting edge, systematic, and empirical research on Filipina migrant hostesses— the women the U.S. government called the largest group of “trafficked” persons in the world.  Illicit Flirtations challenges this simplistic long-distance assessment.  It presents the nuances, differences, struggles and hopes of Filipina women working in Japan as bar hostesses.

2nd March 2012 by NSWP

Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC)  has now been in existence for 20 years.

Read this great article looking at the work of DMSC and its successes at

2nd March 2012 by NSWP

On 21st February, Empower held a very successful launch of their anti trafficking report "Hit & Run: Sex Worker's Research on Anti trafficking in Thailand."

The launch also saw a special exhibition of a tapestry, 'The Mida Tapestry', sewn by sex workers that speaks of the experience of a 'police rescue' event at Mida Karaoke Bar.

Empower also premiered this short film "Last Rescue in Siam" (above) made by sex workers in Chiang Mai.

29th February 2012 by NSWP

Novarstis, a multi-billion dollar Swiss pharma company may get the Indian Supreme Court to shut down the supply of affordable medicines. Novartis is suing the Indian government, if Novartis wins, it will threaten Indian companies’ ability to produce low-cost medicines for malaria, AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening diseases, depriving millions around the world of the treatments they desperately need and threatening thousands of Indian jobs. 

Sign the petition against this action on the AVAAZ website.

20th February 2012 by NSWP
The 2010 "Strike Hard Campaign" (police crackdowns) put in place a zero tolerance policy on sex work, gambling and drugs all across China. While many brothels and popular clubs were closed ultimately sex workers continued work out in more remote areas. This geographic shift cut people off from essential health services, HIV/AIDS education, and even funeral services for women who die while cut off from their families.

Here in its first major report The China Sex Worker Organization Network Forum trained its members to document the effects of the crackdown.
18th February 2012 by NSWP