Resources

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 18 responses were from 11 countries – Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam – in the Asia and the Pacific region

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.

Download this resource: USHA Case Study, NSWP - 2020

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 is a summary of the Asia and the Pacific regional report on economic and social empowerment and the Africa regional report on economic empowerment programmes for sex workers. In this summary, NSWP reflects on best practices for the economic empowerment of sex workers, focusing on elements of successful economic empowerment programmes and describing lessons learnt from programmes that fail.

This 73-page report documents government abuses against transgender people in Malaysia. In research in four Malaysian states and the federal territory of Kuala Lumpur, Human Rights Watch found that state Religious Department officials and police regularly arrest transgender women and subject them to various abuses, including assault, extortion, and violations of their privacy rights. Religious Department officials have physically and sexually assaulted transgender women during arrest or in custody, and humiliated them by parading them before the media.

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Andrew Hunter Memorial Tribute Leaflet

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This regional report explores economic empowerment programmes in Asia through case studies through nine case studies. It describes good practice examples of sex worker-led economic empowerment projects and the impact of forced rehabilitation programmes on the lives of sex workers. A summary of the regional reports regarding econoic empowerment is also available.

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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.

This document summarises the process for conducting the documenting of good practices led by sex workers. Initiation, planning and delivery of work took place between June and December 2013. This documentation of good practices in HIV programming for sex workers includes access to treatment and other priority issues that need to be addressed in each region.
 
The consultation with sex workers, as part of inquiring and exchanging the views of the community, took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was coordinated and monitored by Khartini Slamah.
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Theme: Health

This report reflects the voices and opinions of 140 participants, including resource persons and sex workers, at the first Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation on HIV and Sex Work, held on October 2010 in Pattaya, Thailand. It covers critical components of the HIV and sex work responses, and four key areas – namely, creating an enabling legal and policy environment, ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights, eliminating violence against sex workers, and addressing migration and mobility in the context of HIV and sex work.

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In their work and lives, sex workers experience disproportionate levels of violence including police abuse, sexual assault, rape, harrassment, extortion, and abuse from clients, agents (pimps), sex establishment owners, intimate partners, local residents, and public authorities.  Violence against sex workers is a violation of their human rights, and increases sex workers' vulnerability to HIV.

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Evidence suggests that HIV interventions in the sex industry are more effective when sex workers themselves have direct ownership in designing, implementing and monitoring of programmes.  This entails moving beyond standard HIV prevention programmes and addressing the overall health - including sexual and reproductive health - and well being needs of sex workers and their clients while, at the same time, respecting fundamental human rights.  Sex workers must be recognised as agents of change rather than as 'vectors' of infection and this requires a paradigm shift in the way sex workers are viewed and engaged in the response.

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Sex workers are highly mobile populations, moving both within and accross national boundaries, as either documented or undocumented labour.  However, labour laws rarely, if ever, offer protection and benefits to local or migrant sex workers.  Migration and mobility factors that can significantly increase the vulnerability of sex workers to HIV and sexually transmitted infections, in large part due to their undocumented status including lack of work permits, poor working conditions in some cases, lack of access to health care, occupational health and safety standards, and other forms of labour protection. 

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Governments and the United Nations have recognised the need to address the legal and policy barriers and stigma and discrimination faced by sex workers in order to respond to the HIV epidemic.  In many countries, laws, policies and practices against sex workers limit their right to basic social economic rights such as access to education, health care, housing, banking facilities, inheritance, property and legal services.  They may also lack citizenship or legal status, resulting from migration or unfavourable regulations, which can lead to exclusion of sex workers from health services, social programmes and communities.

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This report details the abuses, including illegal detainment, physical, sexual, and social violence, perpetrated by law enforcement, legal, and social agencies against sex workers in Cambodia.

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This report summarises the AIDS challenge in Asian and Pacific countries. Using the best available evidence, it discusses the reasons why critical services currently reach only a fraction of those in need. It also outlines the action needed that will allow the region to seize this key moment of opportunity.

Finally, the report makes recommendations for urgent implementation of strategies known to work, by global, regional and national political leaders, by international donors, the UN system, civil society and other key stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific.

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Theme: Health