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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Australian sex workers in the state of Victoria have formalised the program for the 2015 Festival of Sex Work.
Australian sex worker network and NSWP member Scarlet Alliance published their report: ‘Stepping up to the evidence on HIV and Sex Work: Decriminalise Sex Work Now! Sex Workers at AIDS 2014’ last week. This much anticipated report demonstrates the strong sex worker presence at the 20th International AIDS Conference - AIDS 2014 in Melbourne, July 2014.
On 21-23 April, 2015, Nepalese sex workers, drug users and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans*,Intersex and Queer (GLBTIQ) people engaged in a 3 day Treatment Literacy Training program, undertaken as part of an International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) initiative. Thirty peer representatives from Nepal’s national peer networks, Jagriti Mahila Maha Sangh (JMMS), the Federation of Female Sex Workers in Nepal, the Blue Diamond Society, and the National Users Network of Nepal (NUNN), participated in the training. This is was the second ITPC training program held in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu in 2015. The first program was held 26 - 28 January, 2015. Both training programs have been facilitated by NUNN.