Like other marginalized populations, sex workers face significant obstacles in HIV prevention and treatment. The stigma associated with sex work, combined with the prosecution of sex workers and the socio-economic and physical threats many sex workers face, creates barriers to effective treatment and prevention. Effective advocacy strategies seek to empower, rather than shame or punish, the sex worker community, and are often most successful when led by sex workers themselves. The Resource Bank contains materials on sex work and human rights, prevention, treatment, and criminalization, as well as related issues such as gender, violence, race, and LGBTQ rights.
A Human Rights-Based Commentary on UNAIDS Guidance: HIV & Sex Work, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
This commentary, published by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and endorsed by more than 40 organizations around the world, including the Center for HIV Law and Policy, is a comprehensive critique of the April 2007 UNAIDS Guidance Note on HIV and Sex Work. Noting the Guidance Note's inconsistency with prior UN statements on the importance of protecting of sex workers' basic rights, the commentary addresses UNAIDS' failure "to consider seriously the precarious human rights situation of sex workers, and the way abusive and violent policing and ill-conceived national laws undermine sex workers' rights. It also fails to discuss the human rights of sex workers as workers, including their right to work, their right to a livelihood of their choosing, and their right to workplace safety." Click here to download.
Research for Sex Work: Issue 10
This issue, published in English and Spanish, focuses on the rights of sex workers. It addresses: (1) police raids and "rescue" services that are often counterproductive to securing sex workers' rights and ensuring no underage involvement in sex work; (2) how criminalization of sex work further stigmatizes the people it is meant to help and encourages violence against them; (3) participation of sex workers in approaches to HIV treatment and prevention; (4) targeting trafficking and the entry into sex work as separate from targeting those living as sex workers; (5) a case study in how the United States PEPFAR "anti-prostitution pledge" has influenced the response to female sex workers' HIV/AIDS needs in Nigeria; (6) sex worker organizing in Madagascar; (7) unfriendly encounters with police among Manhattan sex workers; (8) an analysis of the rhetoric used in newspaper articles about sex work and how that influences attitudes and responses; and (9) peer-led HIV/AIDS responses in New South Wales, Australia. Click here to download.
Investigación para el Trabajo Sexual: Número 10
Esta edición, publicado en ingles y español, enfoca en los derechos de trabajadores sexuales. Se dirigió (1) las ataques de incursiones por la policía y los grupos reformadores que son contraproducentes a las metas de asegurar los derechos de los trabajadores y de asegurar que los minores no entrañan en el trabajo sexual; (2) la manera en que la criminalización del trabajo sexual estigmatiza más los persones que se trata de ayudar y se promota la violencia contra ellos; (3) la participación de los trabajadores sexuales en las maneras de prevención y tratamiento de VIH; (4) distinguir el tráfico humano y la entrada al trabajo sexual como diferente que los trabajadores sexuales en sí mismas; (5) un estudio de caso en como el "Compromiso Anti-Prostitución" del E.E.U.U. ha influido la reacción a los necesidades de VIH/SIDA de las trabajadores sexuales en Nigeria; (6) organizando a los trabajores sexuales en Madagascar; (7) encuentros no amistosos con la policía entre los trabajadores sexuales en Manhattan; (8) un análisis de la rétorica usada en los artículos de diarios que discuten el trabajo sexual y como este influye los actitudes y las repuestas; (9) las repuestas de un grupo de persons que viven con VIH/SIDA sobre este sujeto en New South Wales, Australia. Click here to download.
THE FINE PRINT
Those Left Behind: PEPFAR's Missed Opportunity to Aid Sex Workers
by Margo Kaplan
CHLP Supervising Human Rights Attorney
While the 2008 reauthorization of the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) makes enormous resources available to HIV treatment and prevention efforts, the strings attached to these resources often undercut the most critical components of these endeavors. Most notable are PEPFAR’s provisions that require organizations receiving funds to adopt a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking and prohibiting organizations from using funds to “promote or advocate the legalization or practice or prostitution or sex trafficking.” More
A volunteer-based, sex worker-led network of organizations, communities, and individuals across the United States working in harm reduction, direct services, political advocacy, and health services for sex workers.
Research for Sex Work
An annual journal dedicated to the topic of research on sex work that provides a platform for the exchange of ideas, experiences, observations, and research results with regards to sex work and HIV prevention in the broader framework of health and human rights.
Network of Sex Work Projects
An international organization for promoting sex workers' health and human rights, with member organizations in more than 40 countries.
Prostitutes Education Network
Educational, political, and occupational safety/health information about sex work.
The Sex Workers Project
A project of the Urban Justice Center, SWP provides legal services and legal training, and engages in documentation and policy advocacy, for sex workers.
Sex Workers Outreach Project
A national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy.