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Abuses against sex workers and erosions of HIV prevention efforts resulting from anti-trafficking initiatives

The following is direct testimony from a Pondicherry-based NGO, Society for Development, Research & Training (SFDRT) describing exactly how anti-trafficking programmes are rolling out IN PRACTICE. Whatever the theory of anti-trafficking, UNAIDS, ILO, UNDP, USAID and others must see that in practice anti-trafficking initiatives are a direct threat to sexual health programmes and to the human rights of sex workers and migrants. – November, 2002.

It is indeed an additional burden to work with HIV/AIDS preventive programme with that of trafficking issues but at the same time it is quite evident that those of whom are working on STD/HIV/AIDS are the best to work on anti-trafficking issues too. With an example sited below where in the staff of SFDRT with four other NGOs were invited by the top officials of the police dept. in Pondicherry for a topic on anti-trafficking and NGOs support.

The anti-sex work anti-trafficking agenda: a threat to sex workers' health and human rights

Statement from the Network of Sex Work Projects (Booth 98) at the XIV International Conference on AIDS, Barcelona, July 2002

While a number of anti-trafficking organisations recognise sex work as a legitimate profession, those organisations that seek to repress sex work and sex workers are gaining the upper hand. These include internationally active, highly funded organisations such as the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). CATW recently published a 'hit list' of organisations receiving US funding, accusing them of 'promoting prostitution'. This hit list includes well-known and well-respected organisations providing essential HIV care and prevention services to sex workers in a number of countries.

Theme: Health

XIVth International AIDS Conference

Barcelona, Spain 7-12 July 2002

By Shane Petzer

Some 15 000 delegates participated in this bi-annual event. Amongst hundreds of organisations represented at the Conference, the NSWP hosted a number of events and presented work in a variety of forums throughout the duration of the Conference which contributed to the Conferences¹ overall success.

Theme: Health

Making Sex Work Safe in Asia-Pasifika
Langkawe, October 2002

Recommendations

  1. Local sex worker groups be involved in implementing the resource MSWS-A.P
  2. That sex workers run their own groups and projects
  3. To support the involvement and empowerment of more HIV+ sex workers in APNSW and local groups
  4. The APNSW needs to receive support (including funding) for it to grow and fulfil the needs of sex workers in the region.
Theme: Health

Research for Sex Work 5: Health, HIV and Sex Work - the Influence of Migration and Mobility is a peer-reviewed publication for sex workers, activists, health workers, researchers, NGO staff and policy makers. It is available in English. All issues of Research for Sex Work can be found here.

Download this resource: PDF icon research-for-sex-work-5-english.pdf

This article examines the public discourses invoked in United Kingdom debates about prostitution and the trafficking of women. It takes two particular debates as its focus: the kerbcrawling debates from the late 1970s to the present and the more recent trafficking debate. The authors suggest that there are three striking features about the UK discourses on prostitution: i) the absence of the sex work discourse, ii) the dominance of the public nuisance discourse in relation to kerb-crawling, and iii) the dominance of a traditional moral discourse in relation to trafficking.

Download this resource: PDF icon UK-DISCOURSE.pdf

Knowledge and experience about how to work with sex workers on health issues remains incomplete and controversial. However, by bringing together epidemiological data, operations and behavioural research, project reports and, most importantly, information from communities themselves, practical strategies, guiding principles and measures of success can be identified. A degree of consensus has emerged among frontline projects and key agencies, including many governments, about which combination of policies and programmes reduce HIV transmission during commercial sex.

Download this resource: PDF icon OVERS-SOLUTION.pdf

To prevent HIV transmission via commercial sex, a number of countries in the Asia and Near East (ANE) region have adopted “100% Condom Use Programmes” (100% CUPs). These programmes mandate consistent condom use during all commercial sex acts and outline sanctions against brothel management for failure to comply.

Download this resource: PDF icon CUP-REPORT.pdf
Theme: Health