San Fiji’s Sesenieli Naitala (Bui) has been recognised for her significant achievements and commitment to fighting for the rights of sex workers and other communities facing discrimination. She received a community activist award on International Human Rights Day in December 2016. As Shirley Tagi, the 'DIVA for Equality' Coordinator explained, "Sesenieli Naitala, also known by many as Bui, has been a human rights activist for LGBTI and sex worker rights in Fiji for decades.
News Archive: January 2017
One hundred and twenty-five migrants were arrested in raids on New Year's Eve in Indonesia. The raid on Sun City nightclub in West Jakarta saw 76 Chinese women arrested. An additional 49 migrants were also arrested during similar operations, with individuals coming from various countries such as Australia, Hong Kong, India, Papua New Guinea, France and Italy.
Hundreds of sex workers were detained in raids conducted in three nightclubs in Beijing on 23 December 2016. Days later, on 25 December, Beijing police shared details of the raids on popular Chinese social media platform, Weibo. The police gave details of the location of the raids: Dongcheng in the east of Beijing and Haidan in the north west.
On 9 January 2017, the popular advertising platform Backpage.com removed the adult section of its website in the United States. The closure placed thousands of American sex workers in crisis. They removed the adult section hours after The Senate Homeland Security Committee published a report from subpoenaed internal documents of Backpage.com.
On 28 December 2016, 39 sex workers were arrested under the Rogue and Vagabond offence in the Malawian criminal code. This offence is often used to target street-based sex workers, drug users, vendors, and homeless people.
Section 184(1) (c) of the Penal Code provides that, “every person found in or upon or near any premises of any road or highway or any place adjacent thereto or in any public place at such time and under such circumstances as to lead to the conclusion that such person is there for an illegal or disorderly purpose, is deemed a rogue and vagabond.”
Michael Lodberg Olsen has launched Sexelance, a project that makes street-based sex work more safe. Sexelance is an ambulance car that can be used by street-based sex workers to see clients. Inside the car there are banners saying that the volunteers will call the police if there are signs of violence. The banners also encourage sex workers to inform the authorities if they are victims of trafficking.
A recent announcement which has seen two highest value bank notes in India (Rs 500 and Rs 1000) demonetised has had wide reaching impacts on many communities. Demonesation means the bank notes are no longer legal to use.
On the 18 November SWEAT and Sisonke with the Gauteng Sex Worker Sector and the Gauteng Provincial Legislature held the Sex Worker's Sector Parliament. Four hundred and fifty sex workers participated in the Sex Workers’ Parliament in the province of Gauteng in northern South Africa.