News Archive: August 2013

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NSWP+ now has a listserv! NSWP+ is a platform for HIV positive sex workers and people committed to treatment access and equal rights for sex workers living with HIV.

Posted 29 August 2013 by NSWP

Up to five hundred sex workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, have been left homeless and without work in the last week, as anti-sex worker activists "rampaged" through a two-hundred year old brothel district. Sex worker activists highlighted that these actions are not just those of rogue extremists, but part of a wider pattern of sex worker evictions, where the state permits the land to be bought up for development against the wishes of current residents.

Posted 29 August 2013 by NSWP

Sex workers and sex worker rights advocates are speaking out with mounting concern in British Columbia, Canada, after two indoor sex workers were found dead in the same apartment block, two weeks apart. The women were called Jill Lyons and Karen Nabors.

Posted 28 August 2013 by NSWP

Sex workers gathered from across India in New Delhi last week, for a two-day meeting on the 'protection of dignity and rights of sex workers' organised by the All Indian Network of Sex Workers, as a prelude to the launch of national campaign calling for decriminalisation.

Posted 26 August 2013 by NSWP

A study of sex workers in four African countries has found out that sex workers face gross human rights violations and abuse due to the criminal nature of their work.

‘Human rights abuses and collective resilience among sex workers in four African countries: a qualitative study’ released in early August by a team of researchers who talked to female, male and transgender sex workers in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, found that unlawful arrests and detention, violence, extortion as well as societal exclusion ‘had an extreme impact on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of this population.’

‘The majority of countries in the world have punitivelaws against sex work,’ the report states, ‘… virtually throughout Africa, this occupation is an explicit criminal offence.’

‘This criminalization and the intense stigma attached to the profession shapres interactions between sex workers and their clients, family, fellow community members, and societal structures such as the police and social services.’

Posted 14 August 2013 by NSWP

SWEAT and Sisonke have launched the 'In Her Heels' toolkit on Women's Day (9th August), at the Artscape Women/Humanity Arts Festival.

‘In Her Heels’ is a sensitisation training tool that puts participants in sex workers' shoes – using story cards and different scenarios that are based on sex workers real life stories.

The narratives challenged the public to empathise and walk in the sex workers ‘high heels’ to reflect on stories of rape, abuse, shame.

At the launch participants were also asked to literally wear high heels (which were provided) before entering the 'In Her Heels' training space. Nearly a hundred people participated.

Posted 14 August 2013 by NSWP

The journal Feminist Economics is producing a special issue on ‘Sex Work and Trafficking’ and has issued the following call for papers:

‘Economists have paid relatively sparse attention to the sex industry, despite its size and financial importance. Moreover, feminists remain deeply divided on the issue of agency. The debate between the “sex-work” and “abolitionist” lobbies suggests a strict dichotomy between work and exploitation. Yet existing studies suggest that the industry comprises a continuum of different degrees of agency and in this way resembles other forms of market-based work.

The special issue, planned for online publication in 2015 and print publication in 2016 (contingent on funding), will focus on theoretical analyses of sex work, evaluations of alternative policy regimes, and the emergence of new sexual services and markets. With the expansion of male, gay, and transgendered sex work, analyses that emphasise sex work as a contract between class categories (men and women) may be unduly one-sided. In addition, more valuable insights may be provided by conceptualisations that highlight the caring labour and emotional aspects of sex work and its role in constructing and preserving gender identities. Economic analyses that draw analytical concepts from anthropology, sociology, or law are also encouraged. Given the speed at which markets for sex have spread worldwide, Feminist Economics especially welcomes contributions from the Global South and transition economics.’

Posted 8 August 2013 by NSWP