Khwaja sara (also known as Hijra, third gender or transgender) sex workers in Pakistan experience stigma, discrimination and criminalisation, as well as lack of rights and access to healthcare.
Midnight Blue followed the cases of more than 40 transgender sex workers who were arrested in Hong Kong over a period of four years. They found that the actions of law enforcement agencies seriously infringed the human rights of sex workers, and caused them significant psychological and emotional harm.
On 23rd August, Midnight Blue joined in a protest outside the Turkish Consulate in Hong Kong. The protestors called for justice for Hande Kader, a transgender sex worker in Turkey who was brutally murdered earlier the same month. Midnight Blue, an NGO who works with male and transgender sex workers, also highlighted the abuses suffered by sex workers around the world and in Hong Kong.
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.
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.