Usha Multipurpose Cooperative Society Limited (USHA) is the largest and the first ever sex worker-led financial institution in South Asia, exclusively run by and for sex workers. Steered by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), a sex worker collective in West Bengal, India, USHA provides economic empowerment to sex workers by offering them loans at low interest rates, encouraging short and long-term savings and supporting self-employment schemes.
NSWP has published a statement in response to the recent influx of consultations that seek to include sex worker voices from around the world. You can download the 2-page statement as a PDF above or read the text below.
In April 2020, NSWP launched a global survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers. The survey received 156 responses in total from 55 different countries out of which 22 responses were from 13 countries – Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, and Zambia – in the Africa region.
This is the 28th issue of NSWP's quarterly newsletter ‘Sex Work Digest’, covering the period January - July 2020.
In April 2020, NSWP launched a global survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers. The survey received 156 responses in total from 55 different countries out of which 43 responses were from 17 countries – Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, North Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom – in the Europe region.
In April 2020, NSWP launched a global survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers. The survey received 156 responses in total, from 55 different countries, out of which 9 responses were from 4 countries – Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and El Salvador – in the Latin America region.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) has launched an open consultation on the development of the next Global Fund Strategy. A number of emerging issues in the wider global health environment mean this is a particularly important consultation for sex workers; this is an opportunity to influence the future strategy and ensure that sex workers’ needs are included, and health inequalities addressed.
NSWP facilitated a delegation from member organisations to attend the 64th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The 64th CSW session was cut from almost two weeks to one day following the outbreak of COVID-19, and was attended by government delegations only. This meant that all side and parallel events were cancelled and the expected robust discussions between community organisations and governments, and the essential input from civil society to hold governments accountable, was entirely absent.
This resource is a Community Guide to the Briefing Paper: Sex Workers’ Lack of Access to Justice. It provides an overview of the full Briefing Paper, and provides key recommendations for policy makers and service providers.
Sex workers around the world face a wide range of barriers to accessing justice, both as victims of crime and when charged with crimes. Since sex work is widely criminalised, most sex workers are denied access to the benefits and rights afforded to other workers under labour laws and face the risk of criminalisation, detention, deportation and legal sanction.
This manual was developed as a supplement to the Smart Sex Worker’s Guide: Rights-Affirming International Policies Relating to Sex Work. It includes recommendations for effective forms of follow-up advocacy that sex workers’ rights advocates can utilise after engaging with international and regional human rights mechanisms.
This Smart Person’s Guide is a tool to support sex workers and their allies in advocating for the recognition of sex workers’ expertise. Sex workers’ have an indispensable knowledge of, and experience with the structural, legal, institutional, socio-economic and cultural barriers which impede their human and labour rights. Evidence shows that meaningful involvement of sex workers is critical to success in tackling inequality and inequity.
This resource is a Community Guide to the Briefing Paper: Shrinking Spaces and Silencing Voices. It provides an overview of the full Briefing Paper, and provides key recommendations for policy makers and service providers.
You can download this 5-page Community Guide above. It is now available in English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Chinese.
Funding for sex worker-led organisations is shrinking, as has the space for the voices of sex workers, resulting in sex workers having less influence in programmes, policies and other decisions that affect their lives. Civil society organisations and other stakeholders now feel they have the right to funding and advocacy platforms, either because they work with sex workers and are therefore ‘experts’ who can speak for sex workers, or they wish to exclude sex workers’ voices entirely because they refuse to recognise sex workers’ rights as human rights.
2020 is the 25 year anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA). This Briefing Note outlines the Beijing+25 review process, how sex workers have engaged in this process thus far, and the priorities for inclusion in Beijing+25 actions.
True progress towards gender equality, gender justice and fulfilment of women’s human rights must be inclusive of women in all their diversity, including sex workers. Sex workers face intersecting forms of criminalisation, discrimination and marginalisation, which cannot be addressed in isolation.
This is the 27th issue of NSWP's quarterly newsletter ‘Sex Work Digest’, covering the period September - December 2019.
17th December 2019 marks the 16th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
For sixteen years, sex workers around the world have used this day to highlight the need for action to end violence against sex workers. The issues faced by sex workers often vary from region to region, due to different laws, social and cultural contexts, but one common issue faced by all sex workers is their vulnerability to and experience of violence.
This case study is the third of five case studies that will be published on a yearly basis from 2016-2020. These case studies will monitor and document the impact of international guidelines and policies on sex work that NSWP and NSWP members have helped develop. NSWP will also monitor how members use these international guidelines in local, national and regional advocacy efforts. Examples of international guidelines include the Amnesty International Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers, the Sex Worker Implementation Tool, and the development of the UN Women policy on sex work.
Legislation around sex work can be extremely complex; different legal models exist in different countries and sometimes even within countries. NSWP published a mapping of national legislation used to regulate and criminalise sex work in 208 countries and dependencies, with sub-national legislation included for some countries.
NSWP facilitated a delegation from member organisations to attend the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). This delegation aimed to amplify the voices of sex workers’ rights advocates in a space where fundamental feminists and abolitionist groups often dominate discussions about sex work, which do not reflect the diversity of sex workers’ lived experiences and realities. In this context, the conflation of trafficking and sex work is used to promote policies that undermine the rights of sex workers.