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‘only 31% of the sample of indirect sex workers reported having been engaged in commercial sex in the last 12 months’
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human rights

PLRI on the Internet

The Paulo Longo Research Initiative blog provides easily accessible snippets of sex work news from colleagues and the media. Visit the blog and sign up for alerts.  The current theme on the blog is Human Rights and Law. http://plri.wordpress.com/posts. We are also on Twitter. Please become a follower to keep an eye on news, resources and studies about issues that affect sex workers http://twitter.com/PLRI.

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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

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Centers for Change: Drop-In Centers Facilitate Sex Worker-Led Human Rights Advocacy

Drop-in centers are often the only places where sex workers can access health care, legal counseling, and other direct services. They also provide a safe space for sex workers to congregate, document abuses, and mobilize for advocacy. The role of drop-in centers is critical given the extreme and rampant violations of sex workers’ human rights in most places around the world. Common violations include physical and sexual violence, unsafe and unjust working conditions, extortion, and lack of access to justice, health care, social welfare, and other services. The Open Society Foundations interviewed staff from seven drop-in centers in six countries

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Sex Workers Retirement Home in Mexico

A retirement home for elderly former and current prostitutes has been established in the Teptio neighborhood of Mexico. Casa Xochiquetzal, The House of the Beautiful Flowers, is located in one of the most dangerous parts of the city. It was named after the Goddess of Beauty and Sexual Love. According to Rosalba Rio, director of the house, women must be at least 60-years-old to reside in Casa Xochiquetzal. It can accommodate up to 45 women. They currently care for 23 elderly former and current sex workers. Living in Casa Xochiquetzal does not prohibit these women from working. Most of the elderly

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U.N. guidance note on HIV and sex work “reworked” by activists

Article by Seshu M, Hunter A, Reynaga E, Strack F, Mollet S, Morgan Thomas R, Overs C, Ditmore M, Allman D in the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network HIV/AIDS Policy and Law Review. The article describes how, in 2007, UNAIDS issued a guidance note on HIV and sex work, the tone and contents of which angered sex workers, activists and public health workers worldwide. In this article, based on presentations at the International AIDS Conference, M. Seshu et al describe the problems with the guidance note, discuss the reaction to its publication, and explain how a group of activists got together

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Ain't I a Woman? A Global Dialogue between the Sex Workers’ Rights movement and the Stop Violence Against Women Movement

This is a resource written by Bishakha Datta and sponsored by CASAM and CREA. The report documents a meeting entitled “Ain’t I A Woman? A Global Dialogue between the Sex Workers Rights Movement and the Stop Violence against Women Movement” from 12-14 March 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand.  The report features the presentations from many great speakers including , Ruth Morgan Thomas, Anna-Louise Crago, Kaythi Win, Hua Sittipham Boonyapisomparn, Swapna Gayen and Meenakshi Kamble,Cheryl Overs and  Meena Seshu Through a process that was collaborative rather than confrontational, the dialogue explored the following issues: When and where does violence occur within adult

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Sexual minorities: Identity number makes them unique target

There is very little information about the role of Identity Documents in how sex workers access health services and the protection of their human rights. This article from India addresses this important issue. An article on the DNA India website. What does gender have to do with unique identification numbers? That’s the question that sexual minorities are asking and they are pondering whether they should opt for Aadhaar. “Any marginalised community can be targeted. Each denomination can be segregated,” said lawyer BT Venkatesh speaking at a consultation on ‘UID and Transgenders: Potential and Concerns’, on Thursday. The community that is already discriminated

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Kenyan sex workers celebrate their rights

Kenyan sex workers, drawn from different cities, converged at Tononoka Social Hall in the Coastal town of Mombasa to celebrate the March 3rd International Sex Workers Rights Day. This day is celebrated since 2001 when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a sex worker festival. It has been designated to highlight the human rights challenges, success and failures facing sex workers. The organizers of the event, the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA), in collaboration with the Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP), hailed the event as a milestone for sex workers in Kenya who face challenges in

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2011 Report of UNAIDS Advisory Group on Sex Work – GREAT NEWS

                             Editorial The Report of the UNAIDS Advisory Group on Sex Work has been revised. PLRI reported that,  ‘The report contains some very good material as well as evidence of the compromises sex workers rights advocates must accept if they to reach consensus with UN and government agencies.’  Among other things, the report endorsed  human rights abuses in several countries including forced medical procedures (which is forbidden under the Convention on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment) and confinement under curfew in brothels (Nevada). After my letter to the sex workers on the NSWP list these unacceptable aspects of the report were removed

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Recognize sex work as legitimate work

An article by Reynaga, E. in the HIV/AIDS Policy Law Review, 2008 Dec;13(2-3):97-8. It is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation of Elena Reynaga’s plenary address at the International AIDS Conference. The leader of the Latin American sex workers rights movement Elena Reynaga argues that it is not sex work per se that makes sex workers vulnerable to HIV, but the policies that repress them. In this article, which is based on her presentation at a plenary session of the Mexico International AIDS Conference, Reygana describes how policies and law deprives sex workers of their rights and subject them to physical and sexual

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