Economics and Development

Economics and Development

Although it is well accepted that sex work and poverty, stigma and inequality are linked, too often simplistic assumptions about these factors lead to ineffective, and even harmful, programmes and policies. PLRI aims to establish broader understandings of the economics of sex work and relate them to the challenges of optimising the benefits of economic programs and policies on development, human rights and public health outcomes. We are also committed to helping establish broader understandings of the economics of the sex sector, the demand for, and supply of, commercial sex; the factors that determine prices and behaviours within sex industries, the economic re-distributional effects of commercial sex and the impact of economic trends on people that buy, sell or trade sexual services. To achieve this PLRI research will analyse sex work economies as they relate to social protection, livelihoods strengthening and equitable development policy and programming.


  • Issues Concerning the Informality and Outdoor Sex Work - 2010
    Article in the Archive of Sexual Behaviour.
  • News interview with sex workers in Uganda - 2010

    This news interview features members of the Network of Sex Work Projects. They describe the challenges that they face in Uganda and the way that they are subject to stigma and discrimination and excluded from development policy and plans.

  • Poll reveals details of Bogota's prostitution business - 2010

    A news story by Daniel Brody in the Columbia Reports. The story outlines the findings of an opinion survey of sex workers and their clients in Bogota which was taken by the Mayor's Office. There is no link to the original source so we cannot comment on the accuracy of the reporting or the methods used.

  • Prostitutes Increase Rates Per Sexual Round - 2010

    A news story from the The Accra Times on the 18 February 2010. The piece explains how the sex workers' union have decided to increase prices in response to the increased cost of living. The union also complains about the environment in which they are working and how it poses health risks.

  • Prostitutes, sex workers and honest citizens: politics of prostitution in the Czech Republic - 2010

    After the frontiers were opened in 1989 and the law outlawing prostitution was abolished in 1990, the number of prostitutes grew massively in the Czech Republic. During the 1990s, prostitution was constructed by the most influential actors (experts and politicians) as an important social pathology, and the prostitutes, the pimps and the clients as foreigners, coming from abroad, or ethnically different – simply “the others”, not “us”.

  • RIGHTS-BURMA: For Sex Workers, A Life of Risks - 2010

    A news story by Mon Mon Myat on the website which explores the situation of older sex workers in Burma.

  • Sex workers run restaurant in Mysore - 2010

    A news story by Team Mangalorean Bangalore featured on on the 18 February 2010. The story outlines how sex workers have utilised a World Bank grant to start their own restaurant in Mysore. The purpose of the restaurant is to challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers it has also provided income generation opportunities for older sex workers. Profits from the Ashodaya restaurant fund a hospice for those terminally ill with AIDS. And, when unclaimed bodies are found in the city, it is this group that pays for the last rites - work that few others would be willing to do. 

  • The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex and Sin in the New American Heartland (Contemporary Sociological Perspectives) - 2010

     The State of Sex is a study of Nevada’s brothels that situates the nation's only legal brothel industry in the political economy of contemporary tourism. Nevada is part of the "new American heartland," as its pastimes, people, and politics have become more central to the nation. The rise of a service and leisure economy over the past sixty years has propelled sexuality into the heart of contemporary markets. Yet, neoliberal laws in the United States promote business but limit sexual commerce.

  • Video from SANGRAM: Durga's story - 2010

    This film from SANGRAM explores how organising as part of VAMP has affected sex workers' lives.

  • When I dare to be powerful - Sex Worker Oral Herstory - 2010

    A Publication by Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), written by Zawadi Nyong’o and edited by Christine Butegwa and Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe.

    AMwA has been working in partnership with sex worker activists in Uganda and other countries in East Africa. This oral history project allowed women to speak for themselves to try and better understand the politics behind sexuality, sexual rights and sex work.

    The research tries to present the multiple dimensions of women’s lives,

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