decriminalisation

Listen to sex workers: support decriminalisation and anti-discrimination protections

Article in Interface: a journal for and about social movements, Volume 3(2): 271 - 287 (November 2011).

Despite the massive achievements of the Prostitutes Collective of Victoria and the historic significance of this important organisation, sex workers as a community and the funds we had attracted drew an unhealthy level of interest from the health and community sector, stemming from a perception that sex workers were politically unable to run their own collective, and that the funds we had lobbied for could be better spent by people who were not sex workers.

Fiji Cracks Down on Sex work

THE military regime in Fiji is taking on a new target: sex workers

A report published today by the University of NSW says sex workers, especially in Lautoka, the centre of Fiji’s sugar industry, north of Nadi, have been rounded up by the military and subjected to sleep deprivation, humiliation and forced physical labour.

Karen McMillan, a researcher with the International HIV Research Group at UNSW, said the sex workers were held in outdoor pens at an army base, woken every three hours and made to do duck-walks and squat in the mud.

Sex Work is Decriminalised in Canada

Removal of criminal law removes the main barrier to sex workers achieving justice. It creates a space that can be filled by effective rights based policy and labour regulations and law.

UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights Submission to the Global Commission on HIV & the Law

The Human Rights  Reference Group challenges the Commission o go beyond existing statements [about decriminalisation] and to contribute to greater knowledge and action on how to break the impasse in human rights-based law reform, enforcement and access to justice related to HIV.  It offers six recommendations of which this is the first.

Chinese Government Detains Sex Worker Activist Calling for the Decriminalisation of Sex Work

On Monday August 2, 2010 police in Beijing detained Ye Haiyan, an activist with community based organisation the China Women's Rights Workshop, after she joined other sex workers in publicly petitioning for the Chinese government to decriminalise prostitution.

The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) have released a statement in which they explain how they stand in solidarity with Ye Haiyan, human rights defenders, and sex workers who speak up against stigma, discrimination, and the criminalisation of their livelihoods.

Debating the right to sell sex in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most liberal countries when it comes to prostitution. Yet those who offer sexual services for payment do not have ordinary workers’ rights and the profession is still considered immoral.

To imagine a society without prostitution is utopian. Those who are willing to offer their own bodies in exchange for money must be allowed to do so without being stigmatised or punished. This is the view put forward by Terre des Femmes Switzerland, an organisation that campaigns for the rights of women.

The Swedish Sex Purchase Act: Claimed Success and Documented Effects

This is a very good article that presents a strong case that the criminalisation of clients in Sweden has not been successful in any terms. It contains fascinating statistics about the extent of trafficking in Sweden and illustrates the lack of integrity and rigour of claims that support 'the Swedish Model'.

It also provides a compelling  case for looking closely at the  true consequences of measures aimed at limiting sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.

How do we quit sex work?

Some people want a world without prostitution and campaign for the criminalisation of our clients. I always argue that the criminalisation of our clients is not going to make us disappear but make our work more clandestine, more dangerous and potentially make us lose (part of) our income.

Advancing sexual health and human rights in the Western Pacific

Widespread criminalization of sex work has had the effect of undermining the sexual health of sex workers, for instance by preventing them from accessing health care services for fear of criminal prosecution if found to be a sex worker. Moreover, laws permitting mandatory HIV or STI testing of sex workers and mandating disclosure of private health information to employers sanction direct interference in the private lives of sex workers.

Extract from report
 

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