Published August, 2014

Global Report: Good Practice in Sex Worker-Led HIV Programming, Global Network of Sex Work Projects (2013)

The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) empowers and advocates for sex workers’ rights to health and social services, freedom from abuse and discrimination, and self-determination. This report summarizes 20 case studies, where NSWP highlights effective interventions implemented by sex worker-led organizations throughout the world to increase access to HIV-specific and other healthcare services, as well as to enjoy their full human rights. “Sex worker-led organizations” were defined as organizations in which 50% or more of the decision-making body was comprised of current or former sex workers, 50% or more of the spokespeople were current or former sex workers; and 33% or more of paid staff were current or former sex workers. Moreover, because the organizations operate in different legal and sociopolitical contexts, the summary also provides insight into the specific barriers sex workers face to fully enjoy their human rights.

The summary focused on four sex worker-led organizations in each of five regions worldwide: Africa; Asia and the Pacific; Europe and Central Asia; Latin America; and Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. Specifically, organizations were from Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa, Uganda, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Sweden, the Russian Federation, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana, Jamaica, the United States, and Canada.

The contexts and specific needs of sex workers in each of these countries are drastically different, and the strategies and interventions employed by the organizations are similarly varied. Nevertheless some common ground can be found in best practices, such as aiming for laws, policies, and services that account for the voices and needs of all sex workers and that include leadership from current or past sex workers. Additionally, coalition building across sectors, including government, law enforcement, and healthcare, is of utmost importance.