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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On the 29th of February 2016, five thousand police, army and local security were sent with bulldozers to demolish the area known as Kalijodo in Jakarta.

Kalijodo was known as one of the city’s oldest red-light districts. There were over three thousand residents evicted prior to demolition. There were over 300 sex workers working in Kalijodo, and almost half of the residents also worked in the area.

28th March 2016 by NSWP

CJ Palmer, a trans woman and sex worker living with HIV, was recently arrested in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). Coverage of this case in the media has been stigmatising, with many reports including her birth name, working name and photographs.

State police services from Western Australia and New South Whales arrested CJ in NSW. She was then sent to Western Australia (WA) to face charges of “grievous bodily harm” in relation to allegations of HIV transmission.

25th March 2016 by NSWP

In late 2015 the Red Umbrella Fund announced they would provide funding to $carlet Timor Collective in Timor-Leste for advocacy on human rights, capacity building, training, and health services for sex workers.

21st March 2016 by NSWP

Fourteen sex workers were arrested on the 24th of January in Cambodia, and taken to the infamous ‘rehabilitation’ centre known locally as Prey Speu.

This makes a total of 289 sex workers arrested in the last 13 months, according to the Cambodian sex workers’ union Women’s Network for Unity (WNU). These are only the cases WNU have been able to document. “Many others have been routinely arrested that we can’t capture in our outreach and program activities”, says WNUs’ Managing Director Samara Shehata.

29th January 2016 by NSWP

The closing, and reopening, of brothels and red light districts in Indonesia has been happening for many years. Several brothel areas were closed in high profile operations across the country in 2015. A closure in Papua was attended by the national Minister for Social Affairs as she launched a “national anti-prostitution movement.”

29th December 2015 by NSWP

Seventeen representatives of sex worker organisations in South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe took part in a training workshop organised by the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) in Siem Reap, Cambodia from 5-10 December, 2015. The workshop was part of series designed specifically for sex workers, to build the knowledge and ability of NSWP members to engage and work with The Global Fund mechanisms in their countries.

14th December 2015 by NSWP

The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) has written a letter of support to Amnesty International. Amnesty is under intense pressure from anti-sex work campaigners for their proposals to support the call for the decriminalisation of sex work. APNSW is a sex worker-led regional network that promotes the health and human rights of female, male and transgender sex workers. APNSW represents 31 organizations in 23 countries.

10th August 2015 by NSWP

Empower Foundation, the Thai sex worker organisation has written a letter of support to Amnesty International.

7th August 2015 by NSWP

In an effort to network, build solidarity, increase understanding and contribute towards greater tolerance between the Singaporean sex worker and Muslim communities, Project X, Singapore’s sex worker advocacy network, invited a prominent Muslim speaker, Mr. Mohamed Imran, to a weekly sex worker discussion group, Kopi Session.

30th July 2015 by NSWP

Australian sex workers in the state of Victoria have formalised the program for the 2015 Festival of Sex Work.

22nd July 2015 by NSWP