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Sex workers constitute a key population affected by HIV, with multiple factors contributing to their vulnerability. Around the world, HIV programming falls short of taking these factors into account and actively working towards their reduction. Sex workers are put at risk of exposure to HIV by criminalisation; violence; unsafe working conditions; violations of their human rights; stigma, discrimination and social marginalisation; drug and alcohol use; unequal access to appropriate health services; minimal access to HIV prevention tools (such as safe sex supplies and safer injecting equipment); barriers to negotiation of safe sex with clients; offers of higher fees for unprotected sex; and an absence of HIV-related information targeted at sex workers, due to insufficient funding for rights-based and sex worker led programming.  This Briefing Paper discusses these in detail.

Since 2003, US government funding to address the HIV and AIDS pandemic has been subject to an anti-prostitution clause. This clause requires aid recipients to adopt an organizational policy opposing sex work and requires them to keep away from the “promotion of prostitution”. Simultaneously, the efficacy of some HIV prevention efforts for sex work in areas receiving US government funding has diminished. This article seeks to explain the unintended yet adverse effects of the implementation of the pledge through case stories.

You can download this 13 page resource as a PDF below.

This is a summary of NSWP's Consensus Statement on Sex Work, Human Rights, and the Law. The Consensus Statement is issued on behalf of NSWP members and the sex workers they represent including sex workers of all genders, class, race, ethnicity, health status, age, nationality, citizenship, language, education levels, disabilities, and many other factors.

The Consensus Statement details eight fundamental rights that sex worker-led groups from around the world identify as crucial targets for their activism and advocacy. Following a global consultation with members, the NSWP Consensus Statement reaffirms NSWP ’s global advocacy platform for sex work, human rights and the law. A 12 page summary of the Consensus Statement is also available.

Download this resource: PDF icon ConStat PDF EngFull.pdf

The Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT) offers practical guidance on effective HIV and STI programming for sex workers.

Download this resource: PDF icon SWIT_en_UNDP logo.pdf

This resource is an OSF briefing paper on the recent findings of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. It aims to highlight the Commission's findings in language that will make the information useful for activists and those advocating for sex workers' rights. 

This resource is the NSWP's strategic plan 2013 - 2015, and as such will be useful to sex worker organisations looking for a model on which to base their own organisational strategic document. The stragetic plan will also update member organisations and sex workers about NSWP's planned focus for the next eighteen months.

Download this resource: PDF icon NSWP Strategic Plan 2013-15.pdf

APNSW's response to Equality now covers APNSW's support for the UN reports the recommend decriminalisation, and notes that Equality Now did not submit a response to the UN consultation.

Download this resource: PDF icon APNSW letter Sept 2013 update.pdf

The National Network of Sex Workers India responds to a new campaign to further criminalise sex workers. In their statement, they criticise the conflation of sex work with trafficking, and reiterate the NNSW-India's support of the UN's commitment to sex workers' rights.

This resource is a briefing on why the organisation - the American Jewish World Service - fund sex worker rights organisations, but it is also a very effective introduction to the concept of sex worker rights, and the sex worker rights movement. It disccuses who sex workers are, and what is sex work, the rights of sex workers in places where sex work is illegal, and introduces a rights-based approach.

Download this resource: PDF icon sex_worker_rights.pdf

This concise, Canadian resource looks at why we need prostitution law reform, what the decriminalisation of sex work is, how decriminalisation happens, decriminalisation through the court system, and how to support sex workers in law reform. It notes, "decriminalisation alone cannot overcome all of the other injustices that many of us face, but it is a necessary step to protecting and respecting sex workers' rights".

Download this resource: PDF icon StellaInfoSheetTheBasic.pdf

This resource commences by quoting Ronald Weitzer, who notes "the management of prostitution is one of the most invisible aspects of the trade". It goes on to discuss common prohibitionist discourse around sex work, that situates all possible study on the topic on a continuum between deviance and violence, before highlighting that this limited binary is "diametrically opposed to much of the scholarly literature, and, more importantly, to what sex workers are asserting - namely, that sex work is work".

Download this resource: PDF icon ManagementResearch (4).pdf

The report to the UN by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights in Namibia discusses the challenges faced by sex workers, writing "the criminalization of sex work in Namibia lies at the foundation of a climate of stigma, discrimination and violence surrounding sex work".

Download this resource: PDF icon A-HRC-23-36-Add1_en.pdf

Sex Worker Forum of Vienna, Austria - supplement to the Shadow CEDAW report submitted to the 54th Session of CEDAW February / March 2013.

You can download this 36 page PDF report above.

This resource is in English.

Sex-Worker Forum of Vienna, Austria - Shadow CEDAW report submitted to the 54th Session of CEDAW February / March 2013.

You can download this 44 page PDF report above.

This resource is in English.

Download this resource: PDF icon SWFofViennashadow CEDAW 2013.pdf

SZEXE Shadow CEDAW report submitted to the 54th Session of CEDAW February / March 2013.

You can download this 16 page PDF report above.

This resource is in English.

Download this resource: PDF icon SZEXE shadow CEDAW 54 2013.pdf

This briefing from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network considers the impact of the "Swedish" or "Nordic" model on sex workers.  Examining its harmful effects, this paper argues that this approach would not withstand constitutional scrutiny in Canada.

The briefing also makes recommendations to the Canadian Parliament as follows:

  • Parliament should repeal the section of the Criminal Code that makes it an offence to communicate in a public place for the purposes of prostitution
  • Parliament should repeal the bawdy-house sections of the Criminal Code
  • Parliament should repeal the subsections of the procuring sections of the Criminal Code that relate to bawdy-houses
  • Parliament should repeal the section of the Criminal Code that makes it an offence to live on the avails of prostitution
  • Parliament should repeal the reverse-onus subsection of the Criminal Code as it applies to living on the avails of prostitution

For full details you can download this useful 6 page PDF document above.  This resource is in English.

Download this resource: PDF icon NordicBrief-ENG.pdf

The National Network of Sex Workers in India have appealed to the President of India to reject the 'Ordinance on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012' which was cleared by the cabinet on 1st February. 

A proposed section in this bill conflates trafficking with sex work and essentially defines all 'prostitution' as exploitation, further eroding the dignity of voluntary and consenting sex workers, against the internationally recognised interpretation of the UN Protocol, 2000.  If accepted this bill will criminalise sex workers.

You can read the 2 page (PDF) press release (in English) as published on SANGRAM's website above.

Download this resource: PDF icon Ordinance-PR-NNSW.pdf