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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.

Between 23rd and 27th July 2018, more than 120 sex workers from more than 25 countries attended the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS2018) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The bi-annual International AIDS Conferences are the largest global gathering of HIV academics, implementers, policy makers, people living with HIV and those most affected by HIV, including sex workers.

Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience is a peer-reviewed publication for sex workers, activists, health workers, researchers, NGO staff and policy makers. It is available in English and French. All issues of Research for Sex Work can be found here

In New Zealand, the Prostitution Reform Act was passed in 2003. Its purpose is to decriminalise prostitution. Following the Act, the Department of Labour, in cooperation with the New Zealand Prostitues Collective (NZPC), developed the Occupational Health & Safety guidelines for the sex industry. This article looks at the development and effects of the New Zealand approach. It was written by members of the NZPC and was published as part of Research for Sex Work 14: Sex Work is Work.

The Smart Sex Worker’s Guide to SWIT provides a short summary of the key points in Sex Worker Implemetation Tool (SWIT). The Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT) offers practical guidance on effective HIV and STI programming for sex workers. It provides evidence for the necessity of decriminalisation of sex work, the involvement of sex workers in developing policy, and the empowerment and self-determination of sex work communities as a fundamental part of the fight against HIV. This resource is based on the WHO, UNFPA, UNAIDS and NSWP 2012 recommendations on HIV and Sex Work. The guide can be used by sex workers and sex worker organisations who are designing or running programmes for sex workers. It may also be useful as an advocacy tool when advocating for rights-based services.

Download this resource: PDF icon Smart Guide to SWIT_PDF.pdf

This publication documents the lessons learned from the process of implementing a four-country research project on sex work and violence through the narratives and reflections of those who participated in the research since its inception in 2011. The publication was commissioned by the Centre for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalization (CASAM) in consultation with APNSW, UNDP, UNFPA and P4P (Asia-Pacific regional offices in Bangkok). Funding for the travel to conduct interviews towards this documentation was provided by UNDP.

Download this resource: PDF icon THE RIGHTS PROCESS.pdf

The regional report of this multi-country study contains findings and recommendations to address violence experienced by sex workers in Asia.  Sex workers experience extreme physical, sexual, emotional and economic violence at work, in health care and custodial settings, in their neighbourhoods and in their homes. This violence denies sex workers their fundamental human rights — to equal protection under the law; protection against torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; and their right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Download this resource: PDF icon Rights-Evidence-Report-2015-final.pdf

 A “working paper” prepared as background to Building on the Evidence: An International Symposium on the Sex Industry in Canada

This paper is a result of a research programme in Canada’s sex industry: workers and their intimate partners, managers and clients.

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and STOP AIDS NOW! developed this Community Guide in response to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2013 ARV guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV. It aims to assist community leaders and civil society organisations to:

This technical brief is one in a series addressing four young key populations. It is intended for policy-makers, donors, service-planners, service-providers and community-led organizations. This brief aims to catalyse and inform discussions about how best to provide services, programmes and support for young MSM.

Download this resource: PDF icon UNAIDS YKP Briefs_MSM_2014.pdf

This technical brief is one in a series addressing four young key populations. It is intended for policy-makers, donors, service-planners, service-providers and community-led organisations. This brief aims to catalyse and inform discussions about how best to provide services, programmes and support for young people who inject drugs.

Download this resource: PDF icon UNAIDS YKP Briefs_PWID_2014.pdf

This technical brief is one in a series addressing four young key populations. It is intended for policy-makers, donors, service-planners, service-providers and community-led organisations. This brief aims to catalyse and inform discussions about how best to provide services, programmes and support for young people who sell sex.

Download this resource: PDF icon UNAIDS YKP Briefs_SW_2014.pdf

This technical brief is one in a series addressing four young key populations. It is intended for policy-makers, donors, service-planners, service-providers and community-led organizations. This brief aims to catalyse and inform discussions about how best to provide services, programmes and support for young transgender people.

Download this resource: PDF icon UNAIDS YKP Briefs_TG_2014.pdf

In this resource, the World Health Organisation (WHO) brings together all existing guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for five key populations (both adults and adolescents) in the HIV response: men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people in prisons and other closed settings, sex workers and transgender people. It includes a number of new recommendations and updates existing guidance and recommendations as appropriate. The 8-page policy brief summarises the Consolidated Guidelines.

These guidelines aim to:

As new medical technologies are increasingly being promoted in the prevention and treatment of HIV, and heralded as interventions to be used within communities of key populations including sex workers, NSWP urges the international HIV community and donors to take the concerns of sex workers presented in this report seriously and continue meaningful engagement with key populations in this shift towards the use of biomedical interventions. For years sex workers around the world have been developing and sustaining sex worker-led HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programmes.

Download this resource: PDF icon PrEP Global Consultation final3.pdf

The Global Fund is rolling out a new approach to funding programs. The goal is to ensure efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria have the greatest possible impact. This updated approach is known as the “new funding model.” You can get more background information about the new funding model here.

The information in this report summarises the findings of five briefing papers on sex workers’ access to HIV treatment in five regions: Africa; Asia Pacific; Europe; Latin America; and North America and the Caribbean. Research was carried out by regional consultants through online surveys and meetings with sex worker-led organisations and individuals, to identify the multiple barriers to ensuring access to appropriate health care for those living with HIV.

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.

One of the initial advocacy priorities identified by NSWP+ (a platform for positive sex workers and others committed to equal rights for sex workers living with HIV) was treatment access and joining the campaign against trade related restrictions and patents used by large pharmaceutical companies to make huge profits from essential medicines. Sex workers identified the need for accessible information on the trade frameworks that impact upon access to medicines for people living with HIV.