The National Human Rights Commission, India have issued an advisory recognising sex workers as informal workers. The 11-page advisory titled 'Human Rights Advisory on rights of Women in Context of COVID-19' lists recommendations for sex workers under the women at work section.
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UNAIDS have published a brief that provides evidence-informed guidance to countries on how to reduce stigma and discrimination in the context of COVID-19. The brief outlines specific recommendations for addressing stigma and discrimination related to COVID-19 in six settings: community settings, including individuals, families and communities; workplace settings; education settings; health-care settings; justice settings; and emergency/humanitarian settings.
On Thursday 24th September, the Bombay High Court released three sex workers detained at a woman’s hostel and declared that adult women have the right to choose their vocation and cannot be detained without consent.
Reporting on the judgement, the Hindustan Times wrote:
NSWP member organisation Trans United Europe – founded to unite the networks of European operating Trans BPOC NGOs and individual BPOC trans activists living and working in Europe – have reported on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Trans BPOC people in Europe through NSWP’s COVID-19 Impact Survey.
This week, NSWP member organisation the Sex Workers Project announced a donation of $1.2 million from the Sex Work Rights Fund to significantly increase their capacity, size, scope, and impact. In their announcement, SWP outlined that this funding would go towards hiring a Director of Communications, Director of Development, Director of Research, Organizing, and Advocacy, and an Associate Director for State and Local Campaigns, as well as locally based organising consultants.
Sex Worker Pride began in 2019 and is an opportunity to celebrate and share stories of sex workers’ self-determination and the achievements of the sex worker rights movement. Sex Worker Pride extends to all marginalised by criminalisation, discrimination and stigma across the sex worker movement and celebrates the diversity within our community.
NSWP is seeking to develop infographic and audio-visual formats of our key advocacy tools to expand the accessibility of NSWP resources and support global campaigns and the advocacy work of regional networks and member organisations in campaigning for the rights of female, male and transgender sex workers and amplifying the voices of sex workers globally.
The Dominican Republic recorded its first coronavirus case on the 1st March 2020, and the country has since reached almost 100,000 reported cases. France 24 has published an article on the impact of COVID-19 on transgender sex workers in the Dominican Republic, speaking with Luna Veras, Henely Flores, and organisation TRANSSA, who are all based in the capital of Santo Domingo.
Coalition Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre pour le travail du sexe (CAfOC-TS) have issued a statement reporting on the human rights abuses and violence experienced by sex workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in francophone African countries.
CAfOC-TS – which is made up of organisations including UMANDE, And Soppeku, Blety, AFAZ - Association Femme Amazone, Alcondoms Cameroun, YERELON+, and HODSAS – work to address the problems faced by French speaking sex workers in Central and West Africa.
UNAIDS has released a new report focusing on policy responses in the very early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing attention to the experiences of some of the most marginalised and vulnerable communities.
At the start of the year, it was hard to imagine the impact that COVID-19 would have on the world. Now, six months since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, it’s clear that the crisis is far from over and its repercussions will be felt far beyond 2020.
New Frame have written a feature on the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers in South Africa, looking specifically at the damaging impacts of criminalisation and the need to maintain a focus on the long-term policy changes that position sex workers as equal and protected citizens.
New Generation Humanitarian NGO, an NSWP member organisation based in Armenia, have been providing temporary shelter, food packages, and legal support for sex workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amnesty International have released a statement urging governments to take targeted action to address the disparate impact of COVID-19 on sex workers. The statement draws attention to government responses that, in many contexts, have been punitive, overbroad, and/or discriminatory, and provides key recommendations.
In April 2020, NSWP launched a global survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers.
The Russian Forum of Sex Workers, an NSWP member organisation, have shared a video of a police officer addressing a sex worker at a police station in Russia.
UNAIDS have drawn attention to the Guyana Sex Work Coalition’s work supporting the sex work community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
30th July is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Sex Workers Alliance Ireland circulated this press release illustrating that Ireland is not utilising its best weapon against sex trafficking: sex workers themselves. You can read the full release on SWAI's website.
The government of Maharashtra, India, has acknowledged the challenges faced by sex workers during the COVID-19 pandemic with a new government resolution issued on 23 July. The resolution asks district officials to provide free rations and all essential services to women who are dependent on sex work.
As reported in The Hindu, this is the first time that sex work has been recognised as work in this way.