Resources

The digital transformation of society is an ongoing phenomenon, accelerated by the growing use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the last decade. However, the increased digitalisation of everyday life also poses new threats and challenges for sex workers that need to be addressed. This Community Guide identifies some of the current trends in the use of ICT, exploring good and bad practices, and examines the threats and challenges to sex workers’ safety, privacy, and well-being

The digital transformation of society is an ongoing phenomenon, accelerated by the growing use of information and communication technology (ICT) in the last decade. Sex workers are often among the first adopters of digital technologies to improve their safety while conducting their work in increasingly criminalised and stigmatised contexts and to protect their privacy.

In most countries, sex workers are subject to exploitative and often unsafe working conditions, and do not benefit from the same labour regulations and protections as other workers.

Community Guides are the result of desk research and a global e-consultation, and aim to provide simple summaries of NSWP’s Smart Guides, further detail and references can be found in the accompanying Smart Guides.

In most countries, sex workers are subject to exploitative and often unsafe working conditions, and don’t benefit from the same labour regulations and protections as other workers. This smart guide sets out how sex work fits within international labour standards, and in particular the Decent Work Agenda. It is intended as a tool for sex workers’ rights organisations to use when campaigning for labour rights as fundamental to sex workers’ rights in their respective countries.

Contents include:

New Zealand is the only country to have decriminalised sex work at a national level, alongside statelevel legislation in New South Wales (NSW) and the Northern Territory (NT) in Australia. This Guide provides an overview those three systems, and the key advocacy actions that were pivotal to achieving law reform, as a tool that sex workers and allies can use to advocate for a rights-affirming approach to sex work. 

This Smart Guide provides an overview of existing sex work legal models and details the processes that have been used to develop legislative models that respect and protect sex workers’ human and labour rights. It aims to provide sex workers’ rights organisations with ideas and strategies that they can adapt to their own legal framework and context, to use in their advocacy and campaigning in their own countries.

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

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 53 responses were from 6 countries – Canada, Guyana, Mexico, Suriname, Trinidad, United States – in the North America and the Caribbean 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 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.

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.

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.

Download this resource: NSWP at CSW64, NSWP - 2020

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.

You can download this 30-page Smart Guide above. It is available in English, Russian, Chinese, French, and Spanish. 

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.

Download this resource: NSWP at CSW63, NSWP - 2019

In recent years a growing number of international organisations have released policies, guidance and recommendations that promote the rights of sex workers and advocate for the full decriminalisation of sex work. It can be difficult for sex workers and sex workers’ rights activists to maintain an awareness of the many policies and recommendations that now exist.

This Smart Guide aims to provide NSWP members with increased understanding of CEDAW and its potential for use in advocacy work. The Guide is the result of collaboration between NSWP and the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP). 

Download this resource: Smart Guide to CEDAW, NSWP - 2018

This ‘Smart Sex Workers’ Guide’ provides an overview of the advocacy tools and interventions used by sex worker-led organisations globally to combat violence against sex workers. It builds on the guidance provided in ‘Addressing Violence Against Sex Workers’, chapter 2 of the Sex Worker Implementation Tool (SWIT). This resource may be useful with designing programmes, tools and other approaches to addressing violence.

Theme: Violence

This Smart Guide builds on NSWP’s existing toolkit on the 'Nordic model’, and looks at the harms caused to sex workers in countries where the Nordic Model has been introduced. It draws on the experiences of NSWP members, using submissions, in-depth interviews and case studies gathered through a consultation process.

This Smart Guide is a quick reference for sex workers and people who use drugs to help understand the transition from Global Fund financing. ‘Transition’ is the process that happens when Global Fund financing for programmes (for HIV, TB and/or Malaria) comes to an end and the country takes full responsibility for funding and implementing programmes without any external Global Fund support.

Theme: Health

The Smart Sex Workers’ Guide to the Global Fund Strategy 2017-2022: “Investing to End Epidemics” is a resource for sex workers to better understand the purpose and the goals of the Global Fund. This Guide describes the key points of the Global Fund Strategy, looks at what they mean for sex workers, and explores the opportunities for sex work organisations to use the strategy to strengthen sex workers’ capacity to engage in Global Fund processes and influence sex worker programmes funded through the Global Fund.

Theme: Health