News Archive: August 2012

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Launch of APNSW+ and NSWP+

Tuesday 24th July 2012

Sex Worker Freedom Festival

Kolkata, India

We are a group of HIV+ Sex Workers and people committed to treatment access for sex workers living with HIV. We have decided that we need a special platform to fight for the rights of HIV+ sex workers and to bring the sex worker’s issues and the energy and glamour of the Sex workers movement to the treatment activist movement!

Our new platforms ‘Asia and Pacific Network of Positive Sex Workers’ (APNSW+) and ‘Global Network of Positive Sex Workers’ (NSWP+) make these demands:

  • HIV+ Sex workers demand the right to look fabulous- to do this we need better and affordable HIV drugs now
  • WE DEMAND AS POSITIVE PEOPLE THE RIGHT TO WORK AS SEX WORKERS!!!
  • We demand the right to work in all sectors, including in the sex industry
  • We demand that the drug companies from the West stop trying to kill us through their attacks on developing countries right to manufacture, export and import generic ARVs
  • As HIV+ sex workers we face MULTIPLE stigma and discrimination despite 25 years of treatment activism there is an extra layer of stigma if we have HIV and do sex work. As positive sex workers, we demand that this stigma is fought and our specific needs are met
  • We demand not to be last in line for treatment or refused treatment because we are sex workers
  • Treatment needs to be matched to the patient not the patient matched to the treatment
  • Post Exposure Prophylaxis is not available to most people around the world – we need access and availability of PEP, especially for sex workers

AS HIV+ SEX WORKERS, WE DEMAND THE RIGHT TO LOOK FABULOUS!!!

Posted 25 August 2012 by NSWP

Writing in 'Le Nouvel Observateur', a group of artists, academics and writers in France have suggested that the French Government's plan to eradicate prostitution is bound to fail. 

Responding to French Minister for Women, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem's recent outbursts the group say that talk of "abolishing" prostitution was based on "two debatable assumptions: that charging for sex is an affront to women's dignity and that all prostitutes are all victims of their bastard clients."

Furthermore they argues that 'criminalising clients will only force prostitution even more underground, making the women involved more vulnerable to exploitation.'

Read more here.

Posted 23 August 2012 by NSWP

The African Sex Work Alliance,(ASWA) which is managed by the Sex Worker Education, Advocacy and Task Force (SWEAT) seeks to fill the following positions:

ASWA promotes the health and human rights of sex workers within the existing legal systems in which sex work in South Africa, and in Eights African Countries operate.

It also engages in policy activities which promotes the recognition and protection of sex work, and endorses sex work as work. ASWA also leads civil society campaigns calling for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa, and on the African continent as a whole. Targeted programs assist in mobilising sex workers, as well as providing crucial information in respect of health and human rights.

Click on the post title above for more information and full information on how to apply.

Potential applicants must indicate for which position they have applied , and not apply for both positions simultaneously.

Closing dates for both posts is 31st August.

Posted 23 August 2012 by NSWP

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC) and AWID have expressed deep concern regarding the safety of five staff from the Uganda sex worker organization, Women’s Organization Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA).

Following a police raid on the WONETHA drop-in centre in Gulu town on 7th May this year, five of WONETHA’s members have been charged with “living on the earnings of prostitution”. If found guilty they could face up to seven years in prison.

Documents were confiscated, as well as computers and other material from the center. They also read personal emails and correspondence. The raid took place without a warrant. Two members of WONETHA staff were arrested at the drop-in centre and three were arrested at the police offices when they went to visit their colleagues.

Read the full reports of the international condemnation in these stories on the AWID and WHRD IC websites.

Posted 23 August 2012 by NSWP

India's Supreme Court (Apex Court) backed a decided not to exclude West Bengal-based NGO Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) and Usha Cooperative from a committee of senior lawyers, NGOs and Government officials, which is constituted in July last year, to suggest measures on sex workers dignity.

The court confirmed the need to get views from the concerned people about whom the committee is formed, after an objection was lodged by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare.  They had argued that as these organisations 'openly advocated for the rights of sex workers' that this would make their inclusion contrary to the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act.  This was rejected by the Supreme Court.

The delegates at the Sex Worker Freedom Festival welcomed the news.  NSWP President Andrew Hunter said, “The Supreme Court of India has reiterated that “right to live with dignity” is a Constitutional right. This would help our struggle worldwide to go a long way ahead.”

Read more on this story in The Sunday Indian.

Posted 23 August 2012 by NSWP

The Red Umbrella Fund is launching its first Call for Applications from 15 August to 15 September, and will award over 500,000 euro in grants by the end of 2012.  Read the announcement and find out more information below.

(Castellano mas abajo/ version française ci-dessous / смотрите низже для русской версии)

Posted 21 August 2012 by NSWP

The International Labour Organization hosted an important seminar at IAC 2012 in Washington DC, which included participation from sex workers at the Kolkata SWFF Hub.

The session was entitled A Labour Rights Approach to HIV and Sex Work: Working with Sex Workers to Protect Human Rights, Prevent and Eliminate Violence and Sexual Harassment and Promote Equal Access to Protection Schemes.

ILO made clear the UN believes sex work is regarded as work under the definition provided in Recommendation 200 and that sex workers should be afforded the same rights and protections as other workers.

Read more on AFAO's website.

Posted 14 August 2012 by NSWP