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

Manjula Ramaiah (ASHODAYA SAMITHI), India

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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The Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee is a collective of 65000 female, male and transgender sex workers in West Bengal, India. Their most recent Bulletin (No 8.) includes details of new reproductive health services now offered by DMSC and information about health insurance cards given to sex workers in Sonagachi. 


You can download this 6 page pdf Bulletin below (in English).

17th November 2011 by Neil McCulloch

We, the undersigned civil society organisations and members of the Seksualiti Merdeka (Sexuality Independence) coalition strongly condemn the attacks on the annual festival by PERKASA, Hindu Sangam and PAS Youth. We call upon the state authorities to ensure the security and rights of all human rights defenders in the country, including those from the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) community.

7th November 2011 by NSWP

After another recent case where an HIV positive female sex worker was jailed for propagating sexually transmissible infections, local groups that work with sex workers speak out about the possible impact on HIV infections and how the discriminatory nature of the law violates the human rights of sex workers. 

You can read the whole article published in the ‘Global Times’ here.   

2nd August 2011 by Neil McCulloch

This is an edited version of a talk given by Elena Jeffreys, national president of Scarlet Alliance, at the Feminist Futures conference in Melbourne, Australia 28-29 May 2011 on the panel Why Feminism Matters. It was published in The Scavenger.

14th June 2011 by NSWP

Article by Elena Jeffreys of Scarlet Alliance in the Canberra Times.

27th May 2011 by NSWP

A sex worker representing DMSC was the first sex worker to be invited to attend such an event.  Read the full article in the Times of India here

27th May 2011 by NSWP

DMSC has been helping sex workers negotiate the voting process in the election in Kolkata.  Read news coverage in The Times of India.

1st May 2011 by NSWP

Chinese police detained a sex workers’ rights activist in October 2010, a few days after she publicly called for prostitution to be legalised. Ye Haiyan was taken from the offices of APNSW member organisation the China Women’s Rights Workshops.  

Only days earlier and other activists had called for officials in the central Chinese city of Wuhan to sign a petition calling for sex work to be legalised.  For the full story see the Womensphere website.

29th April 2011 by NSWP

From October 12-16, 2010 in Pattaya, Thailand, the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), UNAIDS, and UNFPA collaborated on a consultation on HIV/AIDS and sex work in Asia. The meeting brought together UN and Global Fund for HIV Malaria and TB representatives with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government officials from eight countries. Sex worker activists from Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Fiji, Papua, New Guinea, Cambodia, and China attended to discuss approaches to the HIV/AIDS epidemic throughout Asia.

24th October 2010 by NSWP