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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.
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. Asia Catalyst research found that under the C&E system, sex workers and clients are deprived of their freedom for long periods of time with no genuine right to challenge the decision or external safeguards. Public security organs have full control over the decision, execution and supervision of C&E, which authorizes officials to detain sex workers and their clients for a period of six months to two years, without trial or judicial oversight. “Sex workers face widespread discrimination and stigma which has enabled this arbitrary detention with little public outcry or a genuine means for redress,” said Charmain Mohamed, Executive Director of Asia Catalyst. “C&E is a punitive measure that does little to improve the education or health of these women.” Asia Catalyst and two partner organizations interviewed 30 female sex workers and one law enforcement officer in Northern China from December
Prevalence and Correlates of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections among Female Sex Workers and Their Non-commercial Male Partners in Two Mexico-USA Border Cities
Female sex workers (FSWs) acquire HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through unprotected sex with commercial and non-commercial (intimate) male partners. Little research has focused on FSWs’ intimate relationships, within which condom use is rare. We sought to determine the prevalence and correlates of HIV/STIs within FSWs’ intimate relationships in Northern Mexico. From 2010 to 2011, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of FSWs and their non-commercial male partners in Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Eligible FSWs and their verified male partners were aged ≥18 years; FSWs reported lifetime use of heroin, cocaine, crack, or methamphetamine and recently exchanged sex (past month). Participants completed baseline questionnaires and testing for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. We determined the prevalence and correlates of individuals’ HIV/STI positivity using bivariate probit regression. Among 212 couples (n = 424), prevalence of HIV was 2.6 % (n = 11). Forty-two (9.9 %) tested positive for any HIV/STIs, which was more prevalent among women than men (12.7 % vs. 7.1 %, p < 0.05). FSWs with regular sex work clients were less likely to test positive for HIV/STIs than those without regular clients. Similarly, male partners of FSWs who had regular clients were 9 % less likely to have HIV/STIs. Higher sexual decision-making power
This study examined perceived stress, coping style, and symptoms of anxiety and depression in HIV-positive Nepali women who were formerly commercial sex workers (CSWs). It found that the level of perceived stress was similar to that observed in a healthy female population of similar age. The primary coping style was problem-focused, with the strategy of seeking social support, accepting responsibility, and distancing. There was low prevalence of psychological symptoms. Somatic symptoms, which may be more relevant than affective symptoms in non-Western populations, were the best indicator of depression. Future studies are needed to examine culturally relevant appraisals, coping style, and psychological symptoms Author: Eller LS, Mahat G.
A literature review produced by Matt Greenall. Programming with sex workers has long been recognised as an important aspect of tackling sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS. Reducing numbers of people in sex work is at the heart of the development by UNAIDS of a Guidance Note on HIV and Sex Work. A review of literature published in databases listing key peer-reviewed journals was conducted in order to establish the evidence base for the “Three Pillars” approach set out in the UNAIDS Guidance Note, paying particular attention to evidence for and consequences of efforts to reduce sex work. The study revealed very weak support for efforts to combat entry to sex work, reduce demand for sex work, and promote exit from sex work, with only a handful of research papers being discovered in each case, displaying inconsistent results. (adapted from author) Theme: Economics and Development review-of-the-evidence-base-for-the-three-pillars-22.pdf
There are a number of people who earn their living directly or indirectly through commercial sex work. Exploitation, vulnerability, forced labour; servitude, stigmatization characterizes Commercial Sex Workers (CSW). A sense of immorality, criminality, and informality associated with their work keeps them excluded from mainstream society. This clandestine work does not allow them to enjoy any social power. They are compelled to keep themselves away from participating in any social, political or economic activities with mainstream society. Moreover, the lack of education, economic opportunities and health opportunities further marginalizes them. Their involvement in protest movements can only be traced in the past decade. A major portion of the money earned by them is given to the brothel owners, pimps and police. In several instances, under the pretext of safety, brothel owners keep the money earned by the CSW leaving them indebted. Lack of financial literacy restricts opportunities for the CSW to move out of her profession. The first section of the paper encompasses commercial sex work and the dynamics associated with the same. The second section of the paper covers sex work situation in Mumbai and the government, private and civil society contribution for assisting commercial sex workers. The third section
An article in the Indian Express by Shruti Nambiar on the 3 May 2011. Pune: Seventy per cent of women sex workers are not pushed or forced into flesh trade but are drawn to it by the lure of higher income, according to the preliminary result of a survey released by women’s group Akshara. The preliminary results of the first leg of a pan-India study being conducted by two University of Pune researchers was released on April 30. The study by Department of Economics researchers Rohini Sahni and V Kalyan Shankar aims at establishing the premise that prostitution is part of an overall informal labour market in the country. The preliminary results of the survey of 3,000 women and 2,000 men and transgenders engaged in sex work reveal that 70.4 per cent of the women opt for sex work voluntarily and are not coerced into it, and higher income was possibility the primary reason. “We have been collecting data from 14 states and one Union Territory for the two years now. There have been other such researches relating to the topic, but they are more about ascertaining the number of women engaged in prostitution or in intervention in connection to
Last week Rhoda Grant MSP and Lord Morrow were invited to speak about their respective proposals to criminalise the purchase of sex in Scotland and Northern Ireland at an event in the House of Commons tellingly entitled ‘Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation: Tackling Demand in the UK’. These proposals represent a radical change to the criminal law in this area and, if passed, would have severe consequences for sex workers. They are not supported by public opinion, academic evidence, sex workers themselves or by the majority of those delivering front-line support to sex workers. Both Rhoda Grant and Lord Morrow made the claim that their intentions were to improve the safety of sex workers and save them from what they repeatedly called “exploitation” and by that they meant being paid for sex. Their proposals are built not on a solid evidence-based foundation, as all legislation should be, but on the narrow ideological belief that consenting sex between two adults is wrong if an exchange of money is involved and that all sex work is in and of itself an act of violence against women. In seeing sex work through this narrow, gender-stereotyped prism the proposals lack any understanding of the gender
“The word illegal and legal makes a big difference.” This article describes conditions under ‘decriminalised’ sex work in New Zealand. It illustrates that there are still many constraints on sex workers and that not all sex work is legal. In Tauranga you are allowed to offer commercial sex services from your house, provided you are the only person operating there.There are five registered brothels, compared with four in 2003. It is illegal to solicit sex on the street. Brothels must only open in areas permitted under council by law and a certificate of compliance and an operator certificate, is needed. You have to be 18 to be a sex worker or use their services. Condoms are a requirement and sex workers are advised to take other precautions; when necessary. Sexual health check-ups are recommended for prostitutes every three months. “In a recent poll, two-thirds of Kiwis said prostitution laws should be amended to keep brothels out of residential areas. The poll and its results angered the National Prostitutes Collective, which says recriminalising the profession would be unrealistic and unsafe. Immigration New Zealand is monitoring brothels and says it will charge them with “aiding and abetting” illegal prostitutes to remain in
Social capital is important to disadvantaged groups, such as sex workers, as a means of facilitating internal group-related mutual aid and support as well as access to broader social and material resources. Studies among sex workers have linked higher social capital with protective HIV-related behaviors; however, few studies have examined social capital among sex workers in sub-Saharan Africa. This cross-sectional study examined relationships between two key social capital constructs, social cohesion among sex workers and social participation of sex workers in the larger community, and HIV-related risk in Swaziland using respondent-driven sampling. Both social capital constructs were significantly associated with collective action, which involved participating in meetings to promote sex worker rights or attending HIV-related meetings/ talks with other sex workers. Social- and structural-level interventions focused on building social cohesion and social participation among sex workers could provide significant protection from HIV infection for female sex workers in Swaziland.
A news story in the Health(Y) Destination on May 1 2011. A recent survey conducted at Pune reveals that 70 percent of the female sex workers join the trade voluntarily and they were not forced or sold. Most of the sex workers join the trade only in their later age after relieved from other labour such as domestic work and construction of building work. It is revealed that the sex work is also felt by them as that of the other labour work. The findings were revealed by a survey conducted by ‘First pan-India survey of sex workers’ at Pune University. The academicians Rohini Sahni and Kalyan Shankar conducted the survey. The survey was conducted among 3000 female sex workers and 2000 male and transgender ones from 14 states including one union territory. Sahni said most of the previous surveys focused only on the numbers of women indulged in the trade and the impact of HIV by the sex trade. But our study ignored all these facts and allowed the workers to bring forth the marginalized voices of sex workers themselves. Sahni said that the survey offered results and it indicated that about 65% of sex workers have come from
PLRI WEBSITE NEWS – 2014