PATTAYA, Thailand, 15 October 2010 – At the first-ever Asia-Pacific consultation on HIV and sex work, sex workers, government officials and United Nations participants emphasized the need for urgent action to increase focus and positioning of sex work within HIV responses in the region.
Close to 150 delegates from eight countries (China, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Thailand) met in Pattaya, Thailand, to form partnerships and review policies and laws that keep sex workers from accessing HIV services and sexual and reproductive health services.
“Sex work interventions must be central to scaling up the HIV response, and listening to sex workers is crucial,” said Jan Beagle, Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) who spoke at the consultation. “Sex workers experience firsthand the effects of laws and harmful enforcement practices that violate their human rights and hamper progress on HIV,” he said. Continue reading
By Noy Thrupkaew
This article appeared in the October 5, 2009 edition of The Nation.
September 16, 2009
This article is the first part of a two-part series. The next installment will explore alternative approaches to addressing the problem of trafficking for the purposes of forced prostitution.
Gary Haugen is cradling the padlocks in his thick hands. A former high school football player–bristly crew cut, broad shoulders squeezed into a dress shirt–Haugen has more the mien of a military man than a lawyer, although his image is in keeping with the muscular work of the organization he founded and heads. The president of the International Justice Mission, an evangelical Christian organization devoted to combating human rights abuses in the developing world, Haugen is musing over the mementos of IJM’s work in India and Cambodia. The padlocks look ordinary enough: heavy brass, a squat square one, a round one with a key. But they had once hung on the doors of brothels, until local law enforcement busted the establishments in raids initiated by IJM. Continue reading
From Canadian Women’s Issues
Friday, July 3, 2009
The July 3 Globe and Mail has a story by Kirk Makin saying “An Ontario judge has turned down a request from two religious groups and a conservative women’s group to take part in a constitutional challenge of the country’s prostitution laws.” According to this story, the judge, Ted Matlow of the Ontario Superior Court, “said that the groups would be liable to turn the trial into a soapbox for spiritual views, which would be out of place in a strictly legal proceeding.”
Besides REAL Women, the groups were the Christian Legal Fellowship and the Catholic Civil Rights League. They argued the court should hear a broad range of voices on the issue. Continue reading
Submitted by Business Desk on June 19, 2009 – 11:50
Halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015 required far greater access to HIV prevention services and AIDS treatment, care and support than was currently available, General Assembly delegates stressed today, as they concluded their wide-ranging review of progress to date in fighting the pandemic.
Discussion throughout the two-day meeting, which heard a total of almost 50 Government and other representatives take the floor, centred on successes in, and obstacles to, implementing the 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the follow-up Political Declaration of 2006. Speakers today hailed from countries with varying degrees of HIV/AIDS prevalence, but urged a united front against a common threat. Continue reading
Plans are afoot to give greater protection to trafficked prostitutes working in the UK. But how big is the current problem? It’s hard to know, although that hasn’t stopped some people from thinking they do, writes Ruth Alexander, of Radio 4’s More or Less.
Concern about trafficked sex workers has grown as borders between countries have become more porous. Now the government is planning to crack down on the problem by criminalising anyone caught paying for sex with a prostitute who has been trafficked or is marketed by a pimp.
But how many prostitutes are there in the UK who are “controlled for another person’s gain”? Continue reading
YEARENDER: Politics of sex
Posted : Tue, 16 Dec 2008 05:09:24 GMT
Author : DPA
Washington – If you don’t talk about sex, you can’t save lives. But sex is complicated, and when it collides with politics and science it usually generates controversy.
Sexual and reproductive health are uncomfortable subjects – emotionally charged, morally loaded and politically sensitive – because they delve into the most intimate aspects of people’s lives.
Public health experts are clear that all government actions must be based on scientific evidence, but say that for several years, reproductive health policies in the United States have relied more on morality than science.
They hope once president-elect Barack Obama takes office, he will reverse many of the regressive sexual health policies of President George W Bush’s administration, which have damaged the reputation of the US at home and at abroad, and potentially put millions of lives at risk.
“With the election of … Obama … (we) look forward to an end to the Bush administration’s relentless assault on women’s reproductive health and rights,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR), a New York-based legal advocacy group.
“For eight years … we have suffered under the yoke of an administration that has suppressed science to the detriment of health and has done damage to constitutional and human rights value,” CRR wrote in a letter to Obama after his November 4 victory.