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This animation describes the different legislative frameworks used to criminalise and oppress sex work and sex workers, including oppressive regulatory frameworks.

The Sex Work and the Law animation is a new tool for sex workers' advocacy worldwide. It was designed and created by Smo Sienkiewicz.

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This animation looks at the harms caused to sex workers in countries where the Nordic Model has been introduced and  is intended as a tool to strengthen and support NSWP members and sex workers’ rights advocates’ ability to actively challenge proposals to introduce the Nordic approach in their countries.

The Challenging the introduction of the Nordic Model animation is a new tool for sex workers' advocacy worldwide. It was designed and created by Smo Sienkiewicz.

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Theme: Human Rights

Trafficking in persons has generated increasing global attention in recent decades, largely due to the development of international frameworks, pressure from fundamental feminist and abolitionist groups, and as a reaction to increased migration for labour. International policies on trafficking frequently contain vague or ambiguous language, which can cause harm to sex workers in a number of ways. 

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This infographic describes the different legislative frameworks used to criminalise and oppress sex work and sex workers, including oppressive regulatory frameworks.

The Sex Work and the Law infographic is a new tool for sex workers' advocacy worldwide. It was designed and created by Smo Sienkiewicz.

This infographic looks at the harms caused to sex workers in countries where the Nordic Model has been introduced and  is intended as a tool to strengthen and support NSWP members and sex workers’ rights advocates’ ability to actively challenge proposals to introduce the Nordic approach in their countries.

The Challenging the introduction of the Nordic Model infographic is a new tool for sex workers' advocacy worldwide. It was designed and created by Smo Sienkiewicz.

Theme: Human Rights

This infographic examines the impact of laws that criminalise sex work, informed by NSWP members’ submissions to an e-consultation. It examines the impact of criminalisation at three distinct phases: the surveillance and policing of sex workers prior to arrest; arrest and formal involvement of the criminal justice system; and release and return to the community.

The Impact of Criminalisation on Sex Workers’ Vulnerability to HIV and Violence infographic is a new tool for sex workers' advocacy worldwide. It was designed and created by Smo Sienkiewicz.

Trafficking in persons has generated increasing global attention in recent decades, largely due to the development of international frameworks, pressure from fundamental feminist and abolitionist groups, and as a reaction to increased migration for labour. International policies on trafficking frequently contain vague or ambiguous language, which can cause harm to sex workers in a number of ways. 

This infographic summarises the research on the decriminalisation of third parties. It sets out why NSWP and its members call for the decriminalisation of third parties and explores some of the key harms that are caused to sex workers as a result of the criminalisation of third parties. 

The Decriminalisation of Third Parties infographic is a new tool for sex workers' advocacy worldwide. It was designed and created by Smo Sienkiewicz.

This resource is a Community Guide to the Briefing Paper: Economic Empowerment for Sex Workers. It provides an overview of the full Briefing Paper, and identifies good practice and key recommendations. 

You can download this 5-page Community Guide above. It is now available in English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese.

The criminalisation of sex work creates a range of barriers for sex workers when it comes to accessing their economic rights. Sex workers face overlapping and mutually reinforcing risks, such as social marginalisation, violence and poor health, which restrict the ability of sex workers to improve their living and working conditions and to achieve economic security. Furthermore, sex workers commonly report a lack of access to bank accounts, saving schemes, loans and legal forms of credit, insurance, pensions, and other basic employment benefits.

Trafficking in persons has generated increasing global attention in recent decades, largely due to the development of international frameworks, pressure from fundamental feminist and abolitionist groups, and as a reaction to increased migration for labour. International policies on trafficking frequently contain vague or ambiguous language, which can cause harm to sex workers in a number of ways.

This systematic review and meta-analysis, led by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), has found that sex workers who have experienced 'regressive policing' (including arrest, extortion and violence from police), are three times more likely to experience sexual or physical violence. The study examines the impacts of criminalisation on sex workers’ safety, health, and access to services, using data from 33 countries. Sex workers' health and safety was found to be at risk not only in countries where sex work was criminalised, but also in Canada, which has introduced the “Nordic model”, where purchasing sex is specifically criminalised.

Societal stigma and punitive legal frameworks often severely impede key populations’ rights to raise families free from interference and discrimination. The experiences of key population groups (gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, people who use drugs, sex workers, and transgender people) are diverse, and are informed by varying levels of criminalisation, stigma and discrimination, and individual factors such as socioeconomic status, gender, race, and health status. This paper explores these challenges, and provides recommendations for policymakers.

NSWP denounces the harassment, arrests and detention of sex workers as part of the recently launched ‘Ujana’ programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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This NSWP Briefing Note provides information about the United States’ recent legislation - The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) and Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) -that criminalise online platforms used by sex workers for advertising and information sharing, including for safety purposes. The resource provides details on FOSTA/SESTA and the 'End Banking for Human Traffickers Act', which aims to ‘prevent financial transactions involving the proceeds of severe forms of trafficking'. 

Download this resource: PDF icon U.S.A. FOSTA Legislation, NSWP - 2018

In 2016, France adopted a law criminalising the clients of sex workers. This report focuses on the impact of this new legislation on the health, rights and living conditions of sex workers in the country. 

The full report and 8-page summary of the report are available above in English and French, and on the Médecins du Monde website

A growing number of countries are considering or implementing sex work law reform focusing on ‘ending demand’, which criminalises the purchase of sexual services. This Policy Brief outlines the impact of ‘end demand’ legislation on the human rights of female sex workers, through research and testimony from NSWP members in countries where paying for sex is criminalised. This document explores how these laws not only fail to promote gender equality for women who sell sex, but actively prevent the realisation of their human rights.

This Smart Guide builds on NSWP’s existing toolkit on the 'Nordic model’, and looks at the harms caused to sex workers in countries where the Nordic Model has been introduced. It draws on the experiences of NSWP members, using submissions, in-depth interviews and case studies gathered through a consultation process.

Theme: Human Rights

This resource is a Community Guide to the Policy Brief on the Impact of Criminalisation on Sex Workers’ Vulnerability to HIV and Violence. This guide summarises how criminalisation increases sex workers’ vulnerability to violence and HIV, and makes a series of recommendations towards the full decriminalisation of sex work as an integral step to improving the lives of sex workers. The full Policy Brief is available here

This policy brief examines the impact of laws that criminalise sex work, informed by NSWP members’ submissions to an e-consultation. It examines the impact of criminalisation at three distinct phases: the surveillance and policing of sex workers prior to arrest; arrest and formal involvement of the criminal justice system; and release and return to the community. The paper covers various areas of law and law enforcement practices that disproportionately impact sex workers, including immigration laws, policing of public spaces, anti-LGBTQ laws, HIV criminalisation and religious codes.