The HIV and Sex Work Collection: Innovative Responses in Asia and the Pacific Launched

The HIV and Sex Work Collection: Innovative Responses in Asia and the Pacific Launched

"The HIV and Sex Work Collection: Innovative Responses in Asia and the Pacific" is a collection of case studies highlighting the work undertaken by sex worker-led community based organisations and networks in undertaking HIV related advocacy efforts. It was launched in 2012 as the result of a collaboration between UNFPA, UNAIDS and APNSW.

Last Rescue In Siam

“Last Rescue in Siam” is a short, silent black and white film produced by Empower Foundation, which uses parody to highlight the impact of anti-trafficking policies on sex workers operating in Thailand. According to the Empower research project, “We have now reached a point in history where there are more women in the Thai sex industry being abused by anti-trafficking practices than there are women exploited by traffickers.”

"Scarlet Road" Documentary Released (Australia)

"Scarlet Road" Documentary Released (Australia)

Scarlet Road’ is a documentary featuring Australian sex worker activist Rachel Wotton, which undertakes advocacy relating to the sexual rights of people with disabilities and is active in connecting sex workers with clients living with disabilities.

Indian Sex Workers Produce Video Response to “Prostitutes of God” Documentary

In 2010, VBS (VICE) media produced a highly offensive documentary film, “Prostitutes of God”, which attempted to explore the cultures of Devadasis in the Indian city of Sangli, Maharashtra, and the northern regions of the state of Karnataka. With the support of Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP), sex workers who participated in the VBS documentary created their own video response to the documentary: “VAMP responds to betrayal by Prostitutes of God film.”

Ashodaya Academy is Launched (India)

In 2009, Ashodaya Samithi formally launched the Ashodaya Academy, a teaching and learning program for sharing experiences of sex worker-led approaches to effective HIV prevention, in Karnataka state, India. Sex workers, NGOs, and government officials from over 15 countries have been trained.

Surang Janyam Wins Human Rights Defenders Award

Surang Janyam Wins Human Rights Defenders Award

In 2009, Surang Janyam, Director of the Service Workers In Group (SWING) Foundation, Thailand, was awarded the Human Rights Defenders Award by the Thai National Human Rights Commission. Ms. Janyam is a co-founder of SWING, a sex worker network established in 2004, which provides support, education, referral, counselling, outreach, and advocacy to male and trans* sex workers.

Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile

In 2008, the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), published a documentary film “Caught Between the Tiger and the Crocodile”, which explores the human rights abuses perpetrated against sex workers in Cambodian detention and “rehabilitation” centres and the abuses caused by the controversial 100% condom use policy.

Midnight Blue established in Hong Kong and Shenzen, China

Midnight Blue is Hong Kong and mainland China’s first exclusively male sex worker organisation, and was founded by a collaboration of male sex workers, labour rights activists and academics with an interest in gender studies and human rights.

Friends Frangipani established in Papua New Guinea

Friends Frangipani was established as a sex worker led network in 2004. The network formed in order to advocate for law reform, to challenge stigma and discrimination, to increase access to health services for sex workers and seek justice from police and others responsible for gender-based violence.

Pornpit Puckmai Wins Human Rights Defender Award

Pornpit Puckmai Wins Human Rights Defender Award

On International Women’s Day, 8 March, 2005, Pornpit Puckmai, a Thai sex worker activist and the manager of EMPOWER Foundation’s Chiang Mai office, was awarded with the first annual human rights award by the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand. Pornpit received the award for her activism in defending the rights of women.

The International Seminar of Sex Workers in Asia and Pacific, 2000

The International Seminar of Sex Workers in Asia and Pacific was held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 15-19 November, 2000. This joint statement was read at the closing session, agreed in one voice of the region.