decriminalisation

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ASWA statement in response to the protests around the UN's decriminalisation recommendations

The African Sex Worker Alliance statement in response to the attack on the UN recommendations regarding decriminalisation. ASWA state that they "stand firmly against the radical move by former sex workers and campaigners in the global north, to protest against the decriminalisation of sex workers ... [including] our partners, employees, and clients".

NSWP Statement In Response to Equality Now Attack on UN Recommendation Calling for Decriminalisation of Sex Work

In response to Equality Now’s recent letter to Helen Clark, administrator at UNDP, requesting that the UN re-examine the findings and recommendations of two recent UN reports on HIV and the Law, and Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific respectively. NSWP rejects the attacks on these recent UN reports which recommend decriminalisation of sex work.  The campaigners leading these attacks are crucially misrepresenting several key factors.

Facing the prospect of further criminalisation, sex workers in France release a video documenting their annual conference

Sex workers of all genders and from all sectors of the industry gathered in Paris in early June to hold a national conference, organised by STRASS, in which they discussed their rights, safety, and community organising.

Position paper on sex work: Commission for Gender Equality

This position paper on sex work from the South African Commission on Gender Equality lays out the reasons and evidence behind the Commission's recommendation that sex work in South Africa should be decriminalised. This resource could be useful for advocacy in contexts where the criminalisation of clients is proposed, as it demonstrates an official acceptance that the Swedish model has failed, and evidences that failure across multiple issues (e.g trafficking, stigma, gender equality).

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South Africa: Commission on Gender Equality calls for the decriminalisation of sex work

The Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) has urged Parliamentarians to decriminalise sex work in South Africa. The CGE made the call as it presented a position paper on sex work in South Africa to parliamentarians in August, 2013.

"Decriminalisation means: repeal all laws against sex work," CGE commissioner Janine Hicks said at the announcement of the institution's position.

Sex Worker Rights: (almost) everything you wanted to know but were too afraid to ask

This resource is a briefing on why the organisation - the American Jewish World Service - fund sex worker rights organisations, but it is also a very effective introduction to the concept of sex worker rights, and the sex worker rights movement. It disccuses who sex workers are, and what is sex work, the rights of sex workers in places where sex work is illegal, and introduces a rights-based approach.

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The Basics: Decriminalisation of Sex Work 101

This concise, Canadian resource looks at why we need prostitution law reform, what the decriminalisation of sex work is, how decriminalisation happens, decriminalisation through the court system, and how to support sex workers in law reform. It notes, "decriminalisation alone cannot overcome all of the other injustices that many of us face, but it is a necessary step to protecting and respecting sex workers' rights".

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Canadians Await Decision by Supreme Court on Decriminalisation


Contrary to popular misconception, sex work is legal in Canada; the act of exchanging sex for money is not a criminal offence. What is illegal are several activities fundamentally related to sex work, namely, communicating for the purposes of prostitution, (CC s. 213-1c); owning, operating, or occupying a "bawdy house" used for prostitution (CC s. 210); and procuring or living on the avails of prostitution (CC s. 212-1j). These three laws are currently being reconsidered in the Bedford v. Canada Supreme Court hearing, which took place on June 13th. 

The case began in Ontario in 2007, with three applicants: Terri-Jean Bedford, a dominatrix whose S&M dungeon was shut down in 1999 under the Bawdy House law; and two members of Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC), Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott. Together, they challenged the three sections of the Federal law on the grounds that these provisions violate sex workers' right to liberty and security of person, granted under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 7. The Communication Law also violates sex workers' Charter right to freedom of expression, section 2b. 

They're at it again! Sex workers protest in South Korea

South Korean sex workers demonstrated to call for the abolition of laws that toughened the punishment for prostitution. About 1,600 people took to the streets last week and chanted slogans calling for the laws to be scrapped at a rally in Seoul. Earlier this year, police launched intensified crackdowns on several brothels in Seoul and other cities, sparking protests.