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Criminalisation of Third Parties and its Impact on Sex Workers' Human Rights

NSWP wishes to clarify a number of issues in the light of some recent media coverage on the subject of the decriminalisation of sex work. Several articles have appeared recently that have made some alarmist and extremely misleading statements in response to an original article in the New York Times Magazine (published 5th May 2016).

As a sex worker-led global network with 262 member organisations across 77 countries from Africa, Asia Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and North America, representing tens of thousands of sex workers from diverse cultures and experiences, NSWP has a fundamental right to be involved in consultations around international and national policies that impact on sex workers’ lives and work. Attempting to silence sex workers by denying our agency and calling us pimps, traffickers and industry lobbyists is unacceptable.

The sex workers’ rights movement is committed to the full decriminalisation of sex work in the belief that it will help sex workers organise to eliminate exploitation, oppression and violence and address unfair and abusive working conditions instituted by state and non-state actors. Branding the decriminalisation of third parties as an attempt to ‘legalise pimps and brothel keeping’ undermines sex workers in their struggle for labour rights and justice.

New South Wales Continues Support for Decriminalisation

The Australian State Government of New South Wales has continued its support for decriminalisation. Sex workers were concerned the inquiry into brothel regulation that begun in 2015 could have resulted in the introduction of a licensing framework and/or a specialised police squad for the sex industry. These measures would end decriminalisation, despite its documented success since it was introduced in 1995.

La Despenalización del Trabajo Sexual y la Seguridad y Salud Laborales en Nueva Zelanda

En Nueva Zelanda, la Ley de reforma de la prostitución fue aprobada en 2003, cuya finalidad es despenalizar la prostitución. A raíz de la Ley, el Departamento de Trabajo, en cooperación con las prostitutas Zelanda New colectivas (NZPC), elaborado las directrices de salud y seguridad ocupacional para la industria del sexo. Este artículo analiza el desarrollo y los efectos del enfoque de Nueva Zelanda. Fue escrito por los miembros de la NZPC y fue publicado como parte de la Research for Sex Work 14: El trabajo sexual es trabajo.

Decriminalised Sex Work and Occupational Health and Safety in New Zealand

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.

UNAIDS Strategy 2016 - 2021

This resource outlines the targets, goals, vision and strategies of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). It recommends decriminalisation of sex work as part of an effective HIV response: "The decriminalization of sex work could prevent people from acquiring HIV through combined effects on violence, police harassment, safer work environments and HIV transmission pathways."

The Principles for Model Sex Work Legislation

This report by Scarlet Alliance outlines core principles in sex work law reform. The principles are an integral source of information and reference for politicians, government bodies, advocates, health providers, community sectors, current and potential sex workers, and sex industry owners and managers. They are the outcome of a five-stage consultation process with the Scarlet Alliance membership, including sex workers from a range of organisations and locations and with diverse experiences and backgrounds.

Research for Sex Work 14: El trabajo sexual es trabajo

Investigación para el Trabajo Sexual 14: Trabajo Sexual es el Trabajo es una publicación revisada por pares para las trabajadoras sexuales, activistas, trabajadores de la salud, investigadores, personal de las ONG y los responsables políticos. Está disponible en Inglés y Español. Todos los temas de Investigación para el trabajo sexual se pueden encontrar aquí.

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Measuring the Impacts of Amnesty International’s Resolution on Protecting the Human Rights of Sex Workers

In August 2015, the International Council of Amnesty International voted in favour of a resolution to develop and adopt a policy that protects the human rights of sex  workers, including full  decriminalisation of all aspects of consensual sex work between adults. This case study reflects on the process towards Amnesty International's resolution, its impact so far and on the roles of NSWP and NSWP member organisations in this process.