The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers was awarded the 2008 annual International Award of Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Human Rights Watch. The award was presented to APNSW on 6 August 2008, at the International AIDS Conference, Mexico City.The award was established in 2002, and is presented every year to one Canadian and one international recipient. It recognises outstanding individuals and organisations which are dedicated to protecting the rights and dignity of people affected by HIV/AIDS.APNSW was recognised for the work it undertakes in representing and advocating around the issues impacting on sex workers from the region. These issues include:
- the implementation of the USAID anti-prostitution pledge (PEPFAR) policy,
- the tangible impact of anti-trafficking polices upon sex worker communities,
- PREP trials upon sex worker communities,
- promoting peer-led HIV interventions as evidenced based best practice,
- and challenging the criminalisation of sex work.
In accepting the award, APNSW’s Andrew Hunter said:
"I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers. International recognition of sex workers’ human rights is vital to curb the HIV pandemic. Governments and UN agencies need to promote sustainable, comprehensive HIV prevention and care initiatives for sex workers that are community-led and protect their human rights."