Paulo Longo Research Initiative

PLRI aims to consolidate ethical, interdisciplinary scholarship on sex work to inform activism and advocacy that will improve the human rights, health and well being of sex workers.

More about PLRI

"Custody and Education": Arbitrary Detention for Female Sex Workers in China

The Chinese government is arbitrarily detaining sex workers through a flawed government policy purportedly aimed at education and rehabilitation, Asia Catalyst said in a new report released today. The report documents excessive use of force by police in the detention of female sex workers, as well as the women's subsequent incarceration in the little-known "Custody and Education (C&E)" system.

Are Sex Workers’ Rights Becoming Thinkable?

In most countries, the concept of sex workers’ human rights has been unthinkable for the last few millennia. As Bubbles, the co-founder of the blog Tits and Sass, has observed, “Sex workers are generally portrayed as victims or punchlines.” Recent political developments, however, suggest some growing political awareness of sex workers as human beings.

Old Age Financial Security in the Informal Sector: Sex Work in India

We assess old age financial security in a sample of sex workers in India. Our analysis, based on primary data for 240 former sex workers and 340 current sex workers in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra, highlights three features of their economic situation. First, former sex workers economically outperform female-headed households in the general population.

Words from the Regional Coordinator of ASWA

“We are here! We are here as brothers and sisters, moms and dads, sons and daughters some of us even grandparents, but WE ARE HERE!” These were the words I spoke at the opening of the 1st African sex workers conference in Johannesburg 3 years ago and now I say them again, “WE ARE HERE!”

Waiting for the Inevitable

Sex work in Macedonia, and elsewhere in the world, still represents an illegal and extremely stigmatized activity, which puts the dignity and human rights of sex workers under permanent threat. The unequal treatment in institutions and the access to services, prejudices, negative media image, and various other forms of violence are daily experienced by many women, men and transgender persons in the sexual industry.

Nigeria: Sex Workers Account for 32 Percent of HIV

Commercial sex workers account for 32 per cent of HIV prevalence in Nigeria, the Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, (NACA), Prof. John Idoko, has disclosed.

He said this at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja to flag off this year's World AIDS Day commemorated worldwide every December 1.

According to Idoko, Nigeria is at present the second most burdened with the disease, with about 4.1 per cent of her population, about 6.5 million people living with the virus, after South Africa.

Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific




The report is intended to provide an evidence-base for: policy makers working in government, regional and multilateral organizations; parliamentarians; members of the judiciary; civil society organizations; donor agencies; and sex workers and their organizations engaged in advocacy to improve the legal and policy enabling environment for HIV responses. The study focuses on 48 countries of the Asia-Pacific region, with an emphasis on low and middle-income countries

Stop Harassing Us! Tackle Real Crime!, A Report on Human Rights Violations by Police Against Sex Workers in South Africa

The findings in this report highlight the gap between the rights enshrined in the South African Constitution and treatment meted out to sex workers. Even under the present, imperfect law, there is a stark contradiction between the actions of police and the due process laid out by the law for them to follow. Based on the complaints of 308 sex workers, the WLC found the following:

Criminalizing Condoms: How Policing Practices Put Sex Workers and HIV Services at Risk in Kenya, Namibia, Russia, South Africa, the United States, and Zimbabwe

In countries around the world, police are actively engaged in stopping and searching sex workers and confiscating or destroying condoms found in their possession. In many cases, possession of condoms has been used by prosecutors as evidence of prostitution. This treatment of condoms as contraband forces sex workers to make a choice between safeguarding their health and staying safe from police harassment or arrest. Criminalizing Condoms documents these practices in six countries and identifies their consequences on sex workers' lives, including their vulnerability to HIV.

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