Follow us @PLRI

Court-based research: collaborating with the justice system to enhance STI services for vulnerable women in the US http://t.co/3vEaFQVO
The fractal queerness of non-heteronormative migrant #sexworkers in the UK by Nick Mae http://t.co/X7oGFeDI
‘only 31% of the sample of indirect sex workers reported having been engaged in commercial sex in the last 12 months’
Old but good. Violence and Exposure to HIV among #sexworkers in Phnom Penh http://t.co/rkrRGiBa
Someone is Wrong on the Internet: #sex workers’ access to accurate information http://t.co/aMSXhygd

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

The Economics of the Commercial Sex Industry

A report by Ahlburg, D and Jensen, E. Commercial sex is a service and the non-price determinants of the demand for commercial sex are the same as for other commodities or services: the number of potential consumers, their preferences and incomes, the prices of other commodities and services, and perhaps their expectations of future prices and income. Since males, particularly single or divorced males, are the main demanders of commercial sex, an increase in their numbers can increase the demand for commercial sex. An increase in the numbers of postpubertal males can occur or a number of reasons, including high median age at marriage, prolonged postpartum abstinence, and migration and other factors that cause unbalanced sex ratios The authors examine the economics of demand and suggest that it is not clear whether demand rises or falls, respectively, when men’s income rises. It has been noted that the price of a condom may be high relative to the price of commercial sex. In the case of low-priced sex work,which is the bulk of the market. For the customer, a condom can increase the cost of sex by 10 per cent to 20 per cent or more, if available and be equal

Read More

This condom delivers an anti-HIV drug, prevents pregnancy, then disappears

This is a very promising development (ed)   Researchers at the University of Washington have just published a paper in PLoS One describing how they’ll use “electrospinning” to create next-generation female condoms made from specially customized nano-fibers. According to a release about the study from University of Washington: Electrospinning uses an electric field to catapult a charged fluid jet through air to create very fine, nanometer-scale fibers. The fibers can be manipulated to control the material’s solubility, strength and even geometry. Because of this versatility, fibers may be better at delivering medicine than existing technologies such as gels, tablets, or pills. Basically, the researchers’ proposal is to spin ultra-thin female condoms woven out of cloth-like fibers and medicine. Above, you can see a magnified image of the resulting condom, complete with sperm who have tried to smash their way through it and failed miserably. The condoms can be woven out of medicines that prevent HIV infections, providing protection against disease while also stopping sperm in their tracks. The electrospun condoms can be designed to dissolve within minutes, or over a period of several days. Women can discreetly put them on before a sexual encounter — either directly, or on a diaphragm or

Read More

Listen to sex workers: support decriminalisation and anti-discrimination protections

Article in Interface: a journal for and about social movements, Volume 3(2): 271 – 287 (November 2011). Despite the massive achievements of the Prostitutes Collective of Victoria and the historic significance of this important organisation, sex workers as a community and the funds we had attracted drew an unhealthy level of interest from the health and community sector, stemming from a perception that sex workers were politically unable to run their own collective, and that the funds we had lobbied for could be better spent by people who were not sex workers. This perception was not helped by the very public failures sex workers were facing within the formal union structures in Victoria at this time, and the new complexities that the licensing system had introduced into sex workers lives generally. The collective was taken over and is now managed by a community health service. This was a political compromise that meant health services to sex workers continue to be delivered, but without the organising focus that the Prostitutes Collective of Victoria had embodied. The new project, called Resourcing for Health and Education (RhED), has elements of peer education but falls short of implementing affirmative action cross the other staff

Read More

Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China .

The karaoke bar has become a ubiquitous symbol of urban China that is often taken to represent evidence of globalization, corruption, and sexuality. Tiantian Zheng’s book Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China finally helps the karaoke bar and its occupants come alive. Zheng returned to her hometown of Dalian, a port city in northeastern China formerly governed under Japanese colonial rule, to conduct this institutional ethnography of the karaoke bar. Indeed, she lived with hostesses inside a karaoke bar, which resulted in a rich ethnographic experience that allows her to illustrate the true role of karaoke bars in post-Mao Chinese society as well as the roles and identities of the hostesses and clients who sustain its social position. The end product is a description of how the karaoke bar contributes to construction of a new form of entrepreneurial masculinity. In doing so Zheng demonstrates how the karaoke bar, which is antithetical to state ideals, sits at the nexus of masculinity, power, and sex work in a way that serves the goals of the state, wealthy entrepreneurs, and poor, rural migrant women. Much of the story revolves around male and female resistance to dominant powers. In the

Read More

Sex Workers Mobilising in Namibia, Reports and Resources

UN consultant Mathew Greenall shares resources about recent work with sex workers in Namibia, including a literature review. ‘In Namibia, as in many other countries, sex workers have limited opportunities to be heard when they want to talk about human rights, and as a result, the discussions are often constrained by the need to relate them to issues like HIV or trafficking. In this context it is heartening to see not only that news outlets in Namibia gave significant coverage to the events organised by local sex worker organisations (front page of The Namibian; articles in New Era and Republiklein), but that the coverage didn’t focus just on the HIV angle, and acknowledged the broader issues.  Since the event took place, some of those involved have told me that the feedback from different decision-makers has been very positive, and they are optimistic that we are now seeing a step-change in how some of the media and decision-makers are approaching sex worker rights.’

Read More

Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile: The Campaign to Suppress Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Cambodia

In 2008  Cheryl Overs of PLRI  supported Women’s Network for Unity and the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers to respond to the introduction of the Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation. This article describes events in Cambodia at that time, including the abuses that ocurred in the  crackdown on the sex industry generated by the law. The law abolishes the distinction between consent based sex work and trafficking by demming any commercial sex out of which anyone has profited to be ‘ sexual exploitation’ which is not distinguished from ‘trafficking’. In this way the law makes almost all aspects of buying and selling sex and associating with sex workers illegal. As a result a wave of crackdowns on commercial sex venues and street sex workers took place across the country. Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile outlines the responses by local sex workers organisation WNU and the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers and others.  Sex workers’ organisations have made, and proven, allegations of serious abuses including rape, violence and unlawful detention by police, prison guards and NGO staff. Moreover they say that closing down the sex industry makes women more vulnerable to traffickers, corrupt police, loan sharks and others to whom they turn for ‘help’ in

Read More

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: • Almost one in six of the sex workers who approached the WLC had been sexually or physically assaulted, and one in three had been harassed, by the police; • Of the 45 percent of sex workers that had been arrested, more than 85 percent of those arrests had been carried out by a police officer who was not wearing proper identification; • Almost half of those who had been arrested were held beyond the 48 hour maximum permitted by law, and nearly 70 percent had been denied access to food or water whilst in detention; • Almost half of all sex workers who were arrested and 40 percent of sex workers who were fined, reported that police did not follow the formal procedure required; and • Almost half of all sex workers who

Read More

“I expect to be abused and I have fear”: Sex workers’ experiences of human rights violations and barriers to accessing healthcare in four African countries

This report documents human rights violations experienced by female, male and transgender sex workers in four African countries (Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe), and describes barriers they face to accessing health services. Through cross-country comparison and documenting sub-regional trends, the study moves beyond previous often-localised descriptions of violations against sex workers in Africa. The study also fills information gaps about violations in male and transgender sex workers in this setting.  A desk review of literature and policies pertaining to sex work in the study settings preceded individual in-depth interviews (n=55) and 12 focus group discussions (n=81) with sex workers above 18 years. Interviews covered the human rights violations sex workers experienced, strategies to avoid these, barriers to health services and practical suggestions for advocacy to improve these circumstances. Broader health (HIV) impacts were also examined. Salient demographic and sexual behaviour data were collected. Sex worker peer educators were trained to obtain narrative information through interviews with sex workers. Convenience sampling was used, aiming to enroll participants across diverse sex-work settings in each site. Interviews took place from December 2010 to February 2011 in Mombasa, Kenya; Hillbrow, Johannesburg, and the towns of Musina and Thohoyandou in Limpopo province, South Africa;

Read More

Cellphones useful in research targeting Peru’s sex workers

Sex workers, a stigmatized population, are also at risk for a host of sexually transmitted infections. As the marginalized women are typically reluctant to visit health clinics, mobile data collection devices are particularly useful to researchers and health workers dealing with this population.In Peru, outreach teams preventively treat the sex workers for infections with the medication metronidazole, in addition to screening them for chlamydia and other conditions. Metronidazole, however, causes headaches, nausea and abdominal pain in some patients. Since these side effects needed to be carefully monitored, the outreach teams had to track down sex workers in streets, bars, discotheques and even brothels to interview them. Initially, the data-gathering process relied on a paper-based system that proved to be inefficient and prone to privacy issues. Laptops were also tried, but because of their value and the personal information they carried, they put workers at risk for theft and assault. Photo by Dr. Walter Curioso Mobile devices can make it easier for researchers to study populations, such as sex workers, that value privacy. Peru’s mobile phone infrastructure is substantial, and it soon became obvious that cell phones would be the best means of gathering real-time medical data from the women. “We

Read More
Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.