This briefing paper looks at the different types of stigma and discrimination experienced by sex workers living with HIV globally. Sex workers living with HIV are at increased risk of violence, criminalisation and vulnerability to other infections. This briefing paper provides recommendations for policies and practices which respect their human rights. It uses case studies that highlight the experiences of sex workers living with HIV and the efforts required to meet their needs, and advocate for their rights. A Community Guide is also available.
This is a Community Guide to the Advocacy Toolkit: The Real Impact of the Swedish Model on Sex Workers, a collection of papers on the harmful Swedish model. It can be used to challenge the widespread promotion of this detrimental legal and political approach to the regulation of sex work.
This is a summary of the findings of the Economic Empowerment: Does Rehabilitation Have a Role? briefing paper and the Overcoming Practices that Limit Sex Worker Agency in the Asia Pacific Region briefing paper. In this summary, NSWP reflects on the impact of economic empowerment programmes for sex workers.
This Advocacy Toolkit is a collection of eight evidence-based fact sheets and advocacy tools on the harmful Swedish model. It can be used to challenge the widespread promotion of this detrimental legal and political approach to the regulation of sex work. A Community Guide is also available.
This Community Guide summarises the Sex Workers Who Use Drugs: Ensuring a Joint Approach briefing paper. The community guide highlights the specific needs and rights of sex workers who use drugs.
This joint briefing paper by NSWP and INPUD highlights the specific needs and rights of sex workers who use drugs, as a community that spans two key populations. This document provides an overview of some of the most endemic and substantive ways in which sex workers who use drugs face double criminalisation and associated police harassment, intersectional stigma, compounded marginalisation and social exclusion, heightened interference and harassment from healthcare and other service providers, infantilisation, pathologisation, and an associated undermining of agency, choice, and self-determination. A Community Guide is also available.
This is a summary of The Needs and Rights of Trans Sex Workers briefing paper. It discusses the issues and needs identified by trans sex workers as disclosed in NSWP forums, including an online questionnaire and face-to-face focus groups.
This briefing paper discusses the issues and needs identified by trans sex workers. Attention is first given to the issue of intersectionality, aiming to give context to the community of TSW before examining the needs and rights of this group. Legal situations are then discussed, noting how legislative systems can have an impact on the lives and work of TSW worldwide. A summary of this briefing paper is also available.
This is a summary of the Needs and Rights of Male Sex Workers briefing paper. A lack of understanding about the MSW community often leads to gaps in service provision and/or inappropriate services being provided. This briefing paper explains the unique needs and rights of MSW and is intended for those who make policy, design and implement programmes, and work directly with MSW, in the hope of increasing awareness and understanding of the multiple realities and needs of this community.
This briefing paper has been developed in line with the NSWP priority to focus on and highlight the needs and rights of male sex workers. This paper presents an overview of some of the main issues faced by male sex workers (MSW) globally and highlights some of the advocacy and activism efforts by male sex worker communities that have challenged these issues. A 7 page summary is also available.
This briefing paper describes the different legislative frameworks used to criminalise and oppress sex work and sex workers, including oppressive regulatory frameworks. It also provides insight into the language and shared principles that NSWP members use when advocating for law reforms that respect and protect sex workers’ human and labour rights.
This paper discusses policies and programmes affecting sex workers that limit their economic empowerment. It aims to frame sex work in terms of labour migration, economics and empowering labour environments, rather than in terms of power, disease and immorality. A summary of this paper is also available.
In Southeast Asia, APNSW observed that sex workers frequently move to faraway lands to find more lucrative work and economic enhancement, but are greatly constrained by anti-trafficking policies framed by a belief that no woman will move willingly to work in sex work. Anti-trafficking laws are often used to limit free movement of women in sex work by raiding and ‘rescuing’ them. Though this is ostensibly done to help them escape traffickers, it is mainly used to ‘correct’ their behaviour.
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.
HIV prevention efforts are being scaled up globally, to target sex workers as a key population in the HIV response. The voices and experiences of sex workers living with HIV are too often rendered invisible. This means that the additional needs and rights of sex workers living with HIV are often overlooked in forums that support the rights of general populations of people living with HIV. This paper sets out the demands of positive sex workers articulated by sex workers themselves. NSWP committed to address this invisibility as an annual priority in 2012. Accordingly, initial consultation was carried out during the Sex Worker Freedom Festival (SWFF). The SWFF was a Alternative IAC2012 event for sex workers and allies in Kolkata, India, and was sustained throughout the year through face-to-face meetings, Skype conversations, and continued communication through setting up and maintaining a global advisory group of sex workers living with HIV, eventually launching the NSWP+ platform.
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.
This is a summary of the New Prevention Technologies and their Implications for Sex Workers briefing paper. It provides an overview of the new HIV prevention tools on the horizon, including microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), vaccines, and ‘treatment for prevention’. It details the possible positive and negative impacts of these as identified by sex worker organisations. Finally, it explores how sex workers’ advocacy can influence the development and introduction of these tools in ways that maximise usefulness and minimise risk to sex workers.
This NSWP briefing paper provides an overview of the new HIV prevention tools on the horizon, including microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), vaccines, and ‘treatment for prevention’. It details the possible positive and negative impacts of these as identified by sex worker organisations. Finally, it explores how sex workers’ advocacy can influence the development and introduction of these tools in ways that maximise usefulness and minimise risk to sex workers. A summary is also available.
This is a summary of the Sex Work is Not Trafficking briefing paper. It explains how sex work is conflated with trafficking; the legal framework; how demand for sex work is conflated with trafficking; the dangers of conflating trafficking with sex work, its impacts on sex workers’ lives and work; the impact on sex worker programming; and offers some recommendations for policy makers, donors and for civil society.