News Archive: April 2012

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Sex workers ran a number of exciting and challenging sessions during the AWID Forum in Istanbul. In their interactions with delegates they have been stressing the importance of listening to sex workers and acknowledging sex work as work. There has also been a plea for the silent majority of feminists who support sex workers rights to raise their voices to condemn interventions like anti-trafficking raid and rescues which are often carried out in the name of feminism.

One well attended break out session that combined presentations with film clips was ‘Don’t talk to us about sewing machines: Talk to us about worker’s rights’ which was organised by the Paulo Longo Research Initiative. The panel was moderated by Meena Seshu of Sangram and Laura Agustín and Sachumi Mayeo of Empower spoke.

Watch the videos of this session (with thanks to APNSW): 

Posted 25 April 2012 by NSWP

Video courtesy of Dale at APNSW.

Watch this video in China here这里观看这个视频中国 

Read the speech in Chinese here中国这里讲话 

También puede leer el discurso aquí en español. You can also read the speech in Spanish here.

The Association of Women in Development Forum is currently taking place in Turkey. In a speech of quiet intensity Kaythi Win delivered a plenary that got 80% of the 2000 feminists in the audience on their feet in support of sex workers rights.  Her speech in full follows.

Posted 22 April 2012 by NSWP

Carol Leigh, director of the Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network, explains why sex workers deserve legal rights in this article in the New York Times.

Posted 21 April 2012 by NSWP

PROS Network (Providers and Resources Offering Services to sex workers) participated in two studies in New York around the impact of policies that use of condoms as ‘evidence of prostitution’.

Posted 21 April 2012 by NSWP

NSWP and ASWA member, Health Options for Young Men on HIV, AIDS and STIs, based in Kenya, has been awarded a grant to train its members to be peer educators and undertake outreach through social media.

The award from amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, will provide sex workers living with HIV with HIV prevention and treatment information. Those trained will, in turn, will pass that knowledge on to other sex workers. Additionally, HOYMAS is working with the Kenyan government to improve public policies related to HIV among male sex workers.

Posted 14 April 2012 by NSWP

UNFPA Africa’s website features this story marking the launch of this resource, which can be found in our resources section here.

Source: Extract from the full story on the UNFPA Africa website.

Sex workers are a critical aspect of Namibia’s plans to tackle HIV and AIDS. However, up until 2011 little was known about their needs and challenges and nor were there national guidelines for effective, rights-based programming with sex workers. A series of rapid assessments on sex work and HIV was conducted by sex workers with the support of UNFPA and UNAIDS Namibia and the Society for Family Health (SFH). This was implemented as part of UNAIDS’ programme acceleration funding (PAF) award to UNFPA Namibia.

Posted 12 April 2012 by NSWP

X:Talk have launched a campaign for a moratorium on sex worker arrests during the Olympics.

They are seeking a moratorium – a suspension of legal powers – on arrests of sex workers before and up to the end of the London Olympics. 

'Governments and NGOs draw a link between sporting events and increase in trafficking, but there is no proven link.  We ask for a moratorium because the usual response by governments to those assumptions is to crack down on sex workers. Up to now, anti-trafficking measures have mainly been about making criminal law interventions. But raids on brothels, for example, find that the number of people trafficked is nowhere near as many as thought.'

Read x:talk briefing paper here and and SIGN UP to their campaign by emailing 

Posted 9 April 2012 by NSWP

Press Release from: English Collective of Prostitutes

As arrests, raids and prosecutions of sex workers increase in Olympic boroughs and throughout the UK, calls for the decriminalisation of prostitution highlight the need to protect sex workers from rape and violence.

Posted 9 April 2012 by NSWP

In response to the recent article in the Hindu where renowned feminist and journalist Gloria Steinem talked of an ‘epidemic of sex trafficking’, Professor Shohini Ghosh writes:

Posted 9 April 2012 by NSWP

The ongoing ‘sex-trafficking’ controversy surrounding Village Voice Media-owned (a website where escorts can advertise their services) continues. 

Posted 9 April 2012 by NSWP

Ann Jordan's Issue Paper from examines the impact of the Swedish Penal Code from 1999. 

Posted 4 April 2012 by NSWP

Three new resources have been published by UNFPA / UNAIDS, in partnership with ASWA and The Society for Family Health, on sex worker rights and HIV in Namibia and are now available in our 'Resources' section (or just click on the name of the document below.)

Posted 4 April 2012 by NSWP

UNAIDS recently feature this story on the front page of their website about sex workers in both Namibia and Kenya advocating for their rights of access to health care and legal services, including coverage of the demontrations for International Sex Worker Rights Day on 3rd March.  It is certainly significant to see stories such as this being given such prominence on the UNAIDS site.  

Matthew Greenall on his Epidreamiology blog has however challeged a couple of significant accuracies carried in the article, specifically about sex owrkers not being able to negotiate condom use; and regarding exactly why sex workers asked for changes in laws and policies that impact on their lives.

Posted 3 April 2012 by NSWP

Many people will have been following the developing news stories about New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who attacks the sex industry and promotes a 'rescue and rehabiitation' approach.

Posted 3 April 2012 by NSWP

This article is reproduced from


Recently the Village Voice exposed the Schapiro Group, a private consulting firm in Georgia, and the Women’s Funding Network of California, a women’s charity, for knowingly deceiving both congress and the public using false data manufactured through fraudulent research. These groups presented alarming reports of a sudden rise in trafficking and sexual exploitation of girls.

Posted 3 April 2012 by NSWP