Regional updates: North America and the Caribbean

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

Regional Board Members

Shaunna-May Trotman (Guyana Sex Work Coalition), Guyana

Natasha Potvin (Peers Victoria Resources Society), Canada

NSWP Regional Network

The Caribbean Sex Workers Coalition (CSWC) is a regional network of organisations representing female, male and transgender sex workers. It was founded in 2011 and is based in Georgetown, Guyana.

News articles from North America and Caribbean region are listed below.

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San Francisco police will no longer use condoms as evidence when arresting and charging sex workers, according to an announcement by law enforcement agencies and the Human Rights Commission.

This announcement follows a six-month trial moratorium period in which condoms were not used as evidence in cases.

Read the full article in the San Francisco Examiner.
2nd May 2013 by NSWP

Press statement from Maggie's, Stella and POWER.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Le français suivra...

May 2, 2013 -- Supreme Court Justice Richard Wagner has denied several prominent sex worker groups the opportunity to intervene in the Bedford v. Canada appeal, to be heard at the Supreme Court of Canada on June 13th, 2013. 

The constitutional challenge to the prostitution laws could strike down laws that have documented direct and negative impact on the lives and working conditions of sex workers, bosses, security people and other third parties as well as the lives of sex workers’ clients and partners.

2nd May 2013 by NSWP

NSWP has received short term funding from the Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund (RCNF) to support our regional networks in identifying and documenting good practice in sex worker led HIV programming; sex workers access to treatment and the impact of free trade agreements; and the impact of HIV programming for sex workers that fails to reflect a rights based approach.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS:  Friday, 12 April 2013 @ 24.00.

26th March 2013 by NSWP

An analysis of the implementation of PEPFAR’s anti-prostitution pledge and its implications for successful HIV prevention among organizations working with sex workers

Melissa Hope Ditmore & Dan Allman have written this analysis published in the Journal of the international AIDS Society

Abstract follows:

25th March 2013 by NSWP

Two important events in the USA in the coming months:

The 8th San Francisco Sex Workers Film and Arts Festival - 18th to 26th May 2013

Deadline for entries has been extended until 15th March 2013.

This festival provides a forum for the accomplishments of sex worker film and video makers and to screen works about sex workers and the sex industries from around the world.

See the Festival website for full details on submissions on their website.

5th National Desiree Alliance Conference (The Audacity of Health: Sex Work, Health, and Politics)
July 14th to 19th, 2013 - Las Vegas, Nevada

The 2013 Desiree Alliance conference will focus on all forms of health in our lives and in our communities. 

The deadline for proposals from presenters has been extended until 1st April 2013. Visit the Desiree Alliance website for applications and instructions. Registration information and details of the limited number of scholarships is available here.

Addtional information on both events also available at A Kiss for Gabriela.

7th March 2013 by NSWP

As reported last week colleagues in the US - BPPP, Desiree Alliance & SWOP-NYC / SWANK have made a written submission for inclusion in the annual TIP report.  The TIP report  is intended to illustrate how the United States and foreign governments comply with the “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons” that are prescribed by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

Their comprehensive written submission highlights how anti-trafficking policies have resulted in violence and discrimination against sex workers, the negative impact of 'end demand' approaches and how restrictions on funding (such as the 'Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath') hinder anti-trafficking intiatives by excluding sex worker rights projects.

You can read much more on the BPPP website here and read their full (11 page PDF) submission here.

7th March 2013 by NSWP

This briefing from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network considers the impact of the "Swedish" or "Nordic" model on sex workers.  Examining its harmful effects, this paper argues that this approach would not withstand constitutional scrutiny in Canada.

The briefing also makes recommendations to the Canadian Parliament as follows:

  • Parliament should repeal the section of the Criminal Code that makes it an offence to communicate in a public place for the purposes of prostitution
  • Parliament should repeal the bawdy-house sections of the Criminal Code
  • Parliament should repeal the subsections of the procuring sections of the Criminal Code that relate to bawdy-houses
  • Parliament should repeal the section of the Criminal Code that makes it an offence to live on the avails of prostitution
  • Parliament should repeal the reverse-onus subsection of the Criminal Code as it applies to living on the avails of prostitution

For full details you can download this useful 6 page PDF document below.  This resource is in English.

4th February 2013 by NSWP

The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) exists to uphold the voice of sex workers globally and connect regional networks advocating for the rights of female, male, and transgender sex workers

NSWP condemns California's Proposition #35 on the basis that the legislation is based on a dangerous conflation of sex work and human trafficking, which fails to provide a workable approach/solution to stop forced labour and other abuse, but rather serves to heighten the criminalisation and marginalisation of sex workers and those associated with them (including their families). Proposition #35 is based on unfounded claims and a significant lack of evidence and exploits a public concern over human trafficking and slavery. The definitions that are employed by the drafters of the proposition are over-reaching and explode any distinction between sex work and human trafficking.

27th September 2012 by NSWP

Robyn Few, the co-founder of Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) USA, died  on Thursday 13th September from cancer.  Robyn had been living with the illness for several years but continued to fight for sex worker’s rights and was instrumental in inaugurating December 17th as International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Read some of the many tributes to Robyn on SheWired, SWOP USA and Lalibertinesalon.

18th September 2012 by NSWP

A call to Stop the Arrests and end ongoing media harassment

Sex Workers Action Group (SWAG) Kingston (Ontario, Canada) have published an open letter to support the 9 sex workers who were arrested in Sault Ste Marie. 

A summary of the issues and the demands follows below.  For the full text of the open letter see here.

TO ADD YOUR NAME TO THE OPEN LETTER, PLEASE SIGN IN THE COMMENT SECTION ON THE SWAG WEBSITE, OR EMAIL sault.on.redumbrellacampaign@gmail.com

18th September 2012 by NSWP