These are some of the people involved in PLRI so far with some information about their interests and role in the group.
1. The Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex University UK
Susie Jolly convenes the Sexuality and Development Programme in the Participation, Power and Social Change team in the IDS. Together with Andrea Cornwall, she is spearheading IDS work on sexuality. Her work focuses on intersections between sexuality, gender and development, in particular promoting positive approaches to sexuality and rights to pleasure. She is co-editor of ‘Sexuality Matters’ IDS Bulletin (with Andrea Cornwall) and of the ‘Gender and Sexuality’ Cutting Edge Pack (with Pinar Ilkkaracan and Emily Esplen). Before coming to IDS, Susie lived in Beijing for many years, managing UNDP poverty alleviation programmes and joining in local women’s and sexual rights activism.
Jerker Edstrom has had a 20 year career in international development focused on HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, children and gender in a range of eight development organisations (International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Sida, UN/DIESA, UNV, Unicef, IPPF, IDS and Africa Now). He has worked in over 20 developing countries, including field research in Cambodia, Haiti, Malawi and Mongolia. His areas of expertise include: strong technical skills in HIV/AIDS, children and AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights; multi-faceted rapid assessment and response design methodology; inter-disciplinary research synthesis and evidenced-based policy formulation; strategic planning and programme development; organisational management; team building and development; proposal development and writing; and multidisciplinary post-graduate training in demography, development economics, basic epidemiology, health planning, statistical analysis and research methodology.
Dr Jo Doezema
Jo Doezema is the author of several articles on sex work and the landmark book Global Sex Workers that have had an important influence on contemporary thinking about sex work particularly in the context of mobility.
Prof Andrea Cornwall
Prof Cornwall is a social anthropologist specialising in the anthropology of participation and democracy, masculinities, women’s empowerment and women’s rights, and sexualities. She is the Director of the UK Department for International Depelopment funded Research Programme Consortium – Pathways of Women’s Empowerment.
2. The Centre for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalisation (CASAM), India
Meena Seshu has over 20 year experience of working with marginalized populations through grassroots rights-based organizations in Karnataka and Maharashtra, particularly with people in sex work, on HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, violence against women (VAW), poverty alleviation, gender and sexual minority rights. She has 5 years experience with global VAW and sex workers rights movements. Strong technical skills in human rights, gender, HIV/AIDS, sex workers rights, VAW; collectivization and democratic processes; team building and development; training; community mobilization; evidence-based national and international HIV policy formulation; proposal development and report writing; public speaking.
Dr Rohini Sahini
Dr Sahini is an economist with over twenty years of experience in research and post-graduate teaching. As a development economist, her research interests have diversified from transition economics and area studies of Soviet Russia into more grass-root experiences of development in India – including gender studies, role of education, culture and globalization. In the area of sex work, she has been actively researching on the implications of the ‘sex-as-work’ paradigm in a developing country like India, conducted spatial studies of sex work to understand the impact of urbanization on the occupation and engaged in extensive ethnographic studies to explore the economic and cultural dimensions of prostitution in India. She has co-edited a book on sex-work in India, one of the first pan-India efforts on understanding the heterogeneity of the profession in the Indian context. She is currently involved in a pan-India research of sex workers, another first of its kind survey that seeks to map the nature of sex work in India as practiced by female sex workers and transgenders.
3. The Global Network of Sex Work Projects, UK
Ruth Morgan Thomas
Ruth Morgan Thomas has been involved in the sex industry for almost 30 years, 8 years as a sex worker, 2 ½ years as an academic researcher at Edinburgh University looking at HIV related risks in the sex industry and 20 years as a sex workers’ rights advocate within a UK, European and global context, throughout which time she managed SCOT-PEP, a sex work project set up in 1989 by and for sex workers in Scotland. She has spent most of her career enabling community development and participation by and for sex workers. In 2004 she joined with other sex workers and allies to organise the European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labour and Migration and is currently Chair of the International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE). She has been involved with the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) since its inception; but in 2007 took on a lead role within the network as it went through an organisational restructuring, becoming a member of the Board of Directors and currently Co-Chairs the UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work on behalf of the NSWP.
Andrew Hunter. NSWP President.
Andrew Hunter became interested in sex workers rights while a university student. He became a volunteer at the Prostitutes Collective in Melbourne in the late 80’s and later worked as a consultant with the International Aids Alliance before gaining a position as co-ordinator of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers.
4. The Michael Kirby Centre for Public health and Human Rights, Monash University Medical School, Australia
Prof Bebe Loff
Prof Loff is an ethicist specializing in public health. She has provided support to sex worker self organising since the 1970’s.