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This is the 27th issue of NSWP's quarterly newsletter ‘Sex Work Digest’, covering the period September - December 2019. 

17th December 2019 marks the 16th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

For sixteen years, sex workers around the world have used this day to highlight the need for action to end violence against sex workers. The issues faced by sex workers often vary from region to region, due to different laws, social and cultural contexts, but one common issue faced by all sex workers is their vulnerability to and experience of violence.

Theme: Violence

This case study is the third of five case studies that will be published on a yearly basis from 2016-2020. These case studies will monitor and document the impact of international guidelines and policies on sex work that NSWP and NSWP members have helped develop. NSWP will also monitor how members use these international guidelines in local, national and regional advocacy efforts. Examples of international guidelines include the Amnesty International Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers, the Sex Worker Implementation Tool, and the development of the UN Women policy on sex work.

Legislation around sex work can be extremely complex; different legal models exist in different countries and sometimes even within countries. NSWP published a mapping of national legislation used to regulate and criminalise sex work in 208 countries and dependencies, with sub-national legislation included for some countries.

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

This resource is a Community Guide to the Policy Brief on Sex Workers and Travel Restrictions. It provides an overview of the full Policy Brief, and provides key recommendations for policy makers and health service providers. 

Sex workers face many barriers to migration and travel, and are often subjected to arbitrary questioning, biased visa refusals and surveillance and discriminatory immigration checks after entering a country. Sex workers’ movement can also be restricted under measures purporting to be ‘anti-trafficking’. Travel restrictions can create a great deal of stress for sex workers, and some sex workers avoid travel altogether because they are afraid of being denied entry, deported or of being identified as a sex worker.

To mark World AIDS Day 2019, UNAIDS has published two resources: ‘Communities make the difference’, and ‘What is a community-led organization?’.

Theme: Health

The 42nd Global Fund Board Meeting took place 14th-15th November, and included some important items for sex workers to consider.

Theme: Health

This quarterly update covers the period July – September 2019 and will look at the Global Fund replenishment, Universal Health Coverage, key populations, changes to the modular framework and HIV2020.

Theme: Health

This is the 26th issue of NSWP's quarterly newsletter ‘Sex Work Digest’, covering the period July - September 2019. 

Fuckförbundet launched a new report - "20 Years Of Failing Sex Workers" - as part of their 2019 conference "Sex Work, Human Rights And Health: Assessing 20 Years Of Swedish Model". It brings together available evidence from sex workers on the impact of the law. Contents include:

On 23rd of September, 2019 the United Nations General Assembly held a High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The theme of this meeting was “Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World” and ostensibly aimed to accelerate progress towards UHC.

Theme: Health

This paper by PICUM discusses the impact of criminalisation on the human rights and dignity of undocumented migrant sex workers in Europe. It outlines the main legal frameworks affecting sex workers, and highlights how these intersect with other frameworks criminalising migrants in Europe.

NSWP provides technical support to regional sex worker networks in line with the needs identified by each regional network. This includes face-to-face technical support around organisational development to the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), and the Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network for Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (SWAN), in addition to virtual technical support provided to other regional networks.

This Briefing Note outlines Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the challenges it presents for sex workers and other criminalised populations. 

Theme: Health

The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), with support from the Key Populations Representation Evidence and Advocacy for Change in Health Programme (KP REACH), has published a study on violence against sex workers in Africa. Among the issues cited by sex workers as exacerbating violence against them are criminalisation and stigma, which impact access to health services and other amenities.

Theme: Violence

As part of its programme 'Rights not Rescue: Sex Work, Migration, Exploitation and Trafficking', ICRSE has published 'Trafficking 101: a community resource for sex workers' rights activists'.

Human Rights Watch and the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) have released a new report recommending the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa, in order to protect the safety and wellbeing of women, and respond to the HIV pandemic.