Research Ethics and Methods

Research Ethics and Methods

PLRI aims to both incorporate and improve upon traditional qualitative and quantitative research methodologies moving toward innovative, interdisciplinary and participatory frameworks that reflect sex workers priorities and perspectives.

The PLRI strives to develop and embed ways of involving sex workers in the production of knowledge that are ethical and which have greater socio-cultural relevance to sex workers. We plan to make spaces and opportunities for tansformative capacity building, collective thinking, research, strategic knowledge translation and thoughtful advocacy by:

  • Developing innovative and ethical ways of researching sex work
  • Conducting research that is ethical, methodologically sound and theory-driven
  • Publishing and innovatively communicating research findings and analysis of sex work issues
  • Supporting training to increase capacity for high priority, community-based research and its uptake
  • Hosting seminars, conferences and web-based discussion spaces for productive dialogue between scholars, sex workers, policy analysts/makers and advocates



  • Can health programmes lead to mistreatment of sex workers? - 2003

    An article by  Loff B., Longo P. and Overs C. in The Lancet, Volume 361, Issue 9373, Pages 1982 - 1983, 7 June 2003.

  • Doing it together: sex workers and researchers - 1998

    An article by Pyett, P in Research for Sex Work, 1998, 1:11-13.

    One of the ethical guidelines for sex work research is involving sex workers in all aspects of the research process. Priscilla Pyett of La Trobe University, Australia, describes such a collaborative research programme. (adapted from author)

  • Preventing Prevention Trial Failures: A case study and lessons for future trials from the 2004 Tenofovir trial in Cambodia

    This document is published by the Global Campaign for Microbicides and is based on interviews conducted in Cambodia and by telephone from mid-2006 through 2008 with key players in the events surrounding the 2004 trial to determine whether tenofovir disoproxil fumarate was safe and effective for use as a pre-exposure chemoprophylaxis to prevent HIV transmission. Before the trial formally began, preparations for it were halted by the Cambodian government following protests led by the Women’s Network for Unity (WNU), the union of Cambodian sex workers.

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