Resources

The Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) has published their report Using CEDAW to Advocate for Sex Workers' Rights in Central Eastern Europe and Central Asia. This booklet is aimed at sex workers, sex worker groups, organisations working with sex workers, women’s groups, drug users’ groups, LGBT groups, human rights organisations and other allies who want to know more about advancing recognition for sex workers’ rights through the United Nations human rights bodies, and in particular, through the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The National Empowerment Network for Persons Living with HIV and AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK), the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA), the Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP) and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) have published their report Speaking Out: Personal Testimonies of Rights Violations Experienced by Sex Workers in Kenya. This report focuses on human rights violations among female sex workers living with HIV. It is based on a literature review and interviews conducted in May 2014 among 30 sex workers living with HIV in six counties: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu, Machakos, Kisumu, and Busia. 

The following is a letter was written by NSWP member EMPOWER Foundation Thailand to the Prime Minister of Thailand following the human rights abuses faced by sex workers during an anti-trafficking operation that resulted in the raid of Nataree Massage in Bangjoj by the Department of Provincial Administration. A total of 121 sex workers were apprehended in the raid.

Remembering Bedford is a summary of Arlene Jane Pitt’s research with 6 street-based sex workers in Toronto, Canada. She shows how street-based sex workers demonstrate resistance and resilience in the face of oppressive laws in Canada. She shows the impacts of criminalisation and how sex workers who use drugs sometimes need to rely on their drug dealers for safety. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.

Download this resource: Remembering Bedford, Pitts - 2016.pdf

In this article, Sharmus Outlaw, Jill McCracken, and Penelope Saunders provide an overview of the report Nothing About Us, Without Us: Sex Work, HIV, Policy, and Organizing. It focuses on the experiences of transgender people who are also sex workers or are profiled as sex workers and reveals how current 
HIV policies impact groups of people who are often silenced and excluded from policy debates. It is a joint project with Best Practices Policy Project and Desiree Alliance. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.

Ishtar Lakhani from SWEAT and Duduzile Dlamini from SISONKE provide an overview of the programming at Mothers for the Future in South Africa. Mothers for the Future is a sex worker-led organisation run by mothers who do sex work. They show how mothers resist oppression and make tangible differences in the lives of mothers. This article was published as a part of Research for Sex Work 15: Resistance and Resilience.

In this article, founding member of Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Network, Elene Lam, argues that migrant sex workers are excluded from the North American sex workers’ rights movement. Abolitionist feminists argue against sex workers’ rights by using the missing voices of migrant sex workers. Lam provides arguments for the inclusion of migrant sex workers in the movement to prevent this from happening.

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“If access to health care is considered a human right, who is considered human enough to have that right?” – Dr. Paul Farmer

We often say that words hold power, and as such they have to be carefully considered. On some occasions, this is truer than on others, and this is one of those occasions. World leaders, government representatives, HIV programme implementers and civil society organizations are currently preparing for the 2016 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS. They should be focusing on the future of the AIDS response. Instead, there have been intense negotiations on which words should be used to describe the global agenda during the next 5-year period.

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Theme: Health

This policy brief on the Decriminalisation of Sex Work in Kenya was written in collaborartion with the University of Amsterdam and NSWP member HOYMAS and KESWA. This policy brief argues that sex workers have the same rights as other citizens in Kenya as outlined in the Kenyan Constitution. The brief describes key instances in which the rights of sex workers as defined by the Constitution are violated in Kenya.

The EMPOWER Foundation Thailand report Moving Toward Decent Sex Work and its summary explores the protections offered to Thai sex workers under civil law and the application of other labour mechanisms to sex work. It provides an overview of the Thai sex industry and argues that to develop a reform process, people must hear how exploitation is defined and experienced by Thai sex workers. Decent Sex Work provides recommendations which are appropriate to prevent and address exploitation in sex work.

The ICRSE Community Report Exploitation: Unfair Labour Arrangements and Precarious Working Conditions in the Sex Industry discusses exploitation in the sex industry, while simultaneously challenging anti-sex work advocates' understanding of sex work as 'sexual exploitation'. Through case studies in Europe and Central Asia, it argues that both sex work, as a form of work and income-generating activity, and exploitation, as labour arrangements that enable one person to take unfair advantage of the work of another, belong to the realm of work and should be viewed and analysed through the lens of labour. 

Theme: Labour

This ICRSE briefing paper explores the diverse experiences and realities of LGBT sex workers and the intersection of LGBT rights and sex workers’ rights. It also calls upon the LGBT movement to build an alliance with sex workers and their organisations and actively support sex workers’ rights and the decriminalisation of sex work.

NSWP member Stella produced 9 fact sheets for sex workers in Canada. The fact sheets provide important information about the changes to Canadian law (the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, 2014) that criminalise sex workers, clients, and third parties. The fact sheets offer practical tools for sex workers and explain how the new laws negatively impact sex workers.

This training manual by the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) is specifically designed for sex workers and sex worker-led organisations who want to engage in advocacy and activism on issues related to sex work, HIV and human rights. It can also be used by service providers and allies who want to support meaningful participation and the leadership of sex workers in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of HIV programming.

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.

The Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) proudly presents A Guide For Sex Worker Human Rights Defenders. This publication is aimed at sex workers of all genders and backgrounds, sex worker projects, human rights organizations and advocates. It contains practical information on how to start human rights documenting projects, to organize human rights campaigns and to use formal human rights mechanisms.

This guide for journalists was written and put together by individuals who work for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in South Africa that advocate for sex worker rights, and specifically the decriminalisation of sex work.  In their work, they have come across dangerous journa

This briefing paper calls for the decriminalisation of sex work and sets out TAMPEP International’s arguments against the abolitionist feminist lobby groups that work to decriminalisation.

Download this resource: TAMPEP Briefing Paper 2015

Canadian sex worker-led organisation Stella, l’amie de Maimie developed these guidelines for acceptable research partnerships with the organisation. The guidelines set out core principles for both researchers seeking partnership and Stella.

Download this resource: Participatory research in Stella