International AIDS Conference 2014

The sex worker presence was strongly felt at AIDS 2014 (…) Many remarked on the visibility of the red umbrellas, the vibrancy of our communities networking zones, the level of engagement and willingness to discuss and debate, our media presence, the diversity of our communities and when we given the opportunity the strong, thoughtful and well articulated analysis by sex workers on the podium.” 
Janelle Fawkes in Scarlet Alliance’s IAC2014 report

The International AIDS Conference 2014 took place in Melbourne, Australia. In their extensive report on sex worker involvement in the conference, Scarlet Alliance remarks: “Sex workers were clear about the need for decriminalisation of sex work.

Importantly this year the consistent and coherent call for the full decriminalisation of sex work by sex workers was supported at the conference by research presented as part of the Lancet edition on ‘HIV and sex workers’ and resulted in key commitments made by parliamentarians at the conference to support changes to legal frameworks.

Other key themes were around the human rights violations against sex workers that are a key concern and remain a major barrier for sex worker in protecting our rights, health and safety at work, impacting on HIV responses. Criminalisation is still pervasive and used actively against sex workers including criminalisation of our serostatus; our sexuality, sex and gender identity; our work, workplaces and our clients. Stigma and discrimination by services, society and in policy and practice continues for sex workers globally. Of great concern is the use of anti-trafficking as a means to further criminalise sex workers by restricting our freedom of movement.”

The full report can be read here.

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