SEX WORKERS AND HIV PREVENTION IN FIJI - AFTER THE FIJI CRIMES DECREE 2009 (UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, 2011)
This research investigates the impact of the Fiji Crimes Decree law, passed by the military government in 2009. The law created a wider range of offences related to sex work, including criminalisation of clients. A key finding of the research was the unexpected and unpredicted role played by military personnel in the policing of sex work, including harassment and violence, after the law was passed. The research also found sex workers had to be more covert and carry fewer condoms, and newer sex workers were reluctant to be associated with more experienced workers who share advice on health and safety. Other consequences included fewer clients, lower prices, and increased competition between sex workers, leading to increases in client negotiating power and increased client preferences for younger, less visibly identifiable sex workers. NGOs and organisations that had previously supported sex workers stopped distributing condoms as a result of police and military raids on the streets. Sex worker groups were also affected, making their work more dangerous and difficult.