News Archive: October 2012

Members of STRASS and other activists organised a demonstration on Friday 26th October, outside the Courthouse in Toulouse, France to protest against the proposals being brought forward to criminalise clients of sex workers and the crime of solicitation.

The event, held during the National Congress of the Socialist Party was part of ongoing action in the face of the plans of the French Minister for Women's Rights. 

The activists oppose the proposals and denounced the disastrous consequences they will cause including more violence, more infections and fewer rights.  They also released a list of demands which included that sex workers are actually consulted and involved in public policies that affect them and the repeal of the offence of soliciting and all laws that criminalise sex workers.

You can read more including the full list of demands (In French) in the press release below.

27 October 2012
  • Criminalisation of sex work increases vulnerability to HIV by fuelling stigma and discrimination, limits access to sexual health services and condoms.
  • Removing legal penalties for sex work allows HIV prevention and treatment programmes to reach sex workers and their clients more effectively.
  • There is no evidence that decriminalisation has increased sex work. 

These are some of the findings in an unprecedented study issued today by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

24 October 2012

The Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kyrgyzstan announced recently week that they intend to criminalise sex workers. 

The MIA prepared the draft of the law “On amendments to the Administrative Code of the Kyrgyz Republic”. The justification for these amendments are that 'prostitution is anti-social, directly linked to the spread of STIs, including HIV as well as spreading drug addiction and alcoholism'. The prospective punishment could be a fine or as much as 30 days in prison.

Tais Plus, along with partner organisations and rights defenders are campaigning against this initiative. 

Their activities include:

- Conducting public hearings in all regions of the country with the participation of sex workers, their allies and main stakeholders from the government

- Using the in-country consultation meeting devoted to the preparation to the Regional Consultation on HIV and Sex Work (5-6 of November 2012)

- Sex workers will develop and sign a petition to the MIA, Parliament & Ombudsman's Office

- Presenting and disseminating a report on sex workers' human rights violations

You can read more on this story (in Russian) here and here.

24 October 2012

Sonke Gender Justice Network, Men for Gender Equality Sweden, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Wikigender are holding an online discussion on the topic of "Engaging Men and Boys in Transforming Discriminatory Social Norms". The discussion will be open for comments starting on Monday October 22nd until October 31st.

Given Sweden’s role in promoting the criminalisation of clients this online discussion may be an opportunity for sex worker groups to challenge their position. PLEASE participate if you have time.

24 October 2012

This is the first issue of NSWP's new quarterly newsletter ‘Sex Work Digest’. 

This first issue focuses primarily on coverage of the Sex Worker Freedom Festival held in Kolkata.

24 October 2012