Monthly Archives: July 2014

This report highlights 42 innovative examples from 28 countries and regions in which the workplace and/or workforce was used as an entry point to reach sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender populations, people who inject drugs, migrant workers, truckers, ship and dockworkers and the prisons populations with HIV services. Country case studies are presented from Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Southern Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe (Africa); Canada, Guyana and USA the Americas); United Arab Emirates (Arab States); Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam (Asia and the Pacific); and Albania, Austria, the European Union, Scotland and the United Kingdom (Europe and Central Asia.

Full report available here. 

Grov, Christian; Rodríguez-Díaz, Carlos E.; Ditmore, Melissa H.; u. a.: What Kinds of Workshops do Internet-Based Male Escorts Want? Implications for Prevention and Health Promotion, in: Sexuality Research and Social Policy 11 (2), Juni 2014, S. 176–185.


There has been limited research on the types of programs that male-for-male escorts would want for themselves. In 2013, 418 Internet-based male escorts completed an online survey. Participants were presented with a description of an ongoing outreach program for male sex workers called “Rent University” and asked to select workshop topics that they would be interested in (from a list of 14). Participants selected, on average, six workshops. The most commonly selected workshops centered around enhancing one’s career/wealth as an escort (e.g., “Attracting the ‘right’ clients and keeping them” 65.0 %, “Escorting and legal matters” 64.0 %, “How best to market yourself online” 62.7 %, “Financial planning and planning for the future” 52.7 %). More often than not, demographic characteristics were unassociated with selecting individual topics. Being younger, having less than a college degree, being gay identified, and having used club drugs in the past 12 months were associated with expressing interest in a greater number of workshops. Those seeking to provide such services might be well served to ensure that materials are at an appropriate reading level and culturally acceptable for younger, gay-identified men.

Anuja Agrawal, “Kinship and trafficking: The case of the Bedia community” (2003) Canadian Woman Studies, Vol 22 Nos 3-4, p.131

Introduction (our translation): “This article discusses the link between sex work and prostitution in India. While one is assured that prostitutes are sold without the consent of their families, the case of the Bedia community shows how the economy of these families is linked to the sex trade. The author hopes that trafficking of women for prostitution is reexamined in light of the role played by families and kinship.”

Full text (in English) available here.

Cunningham, Scott; Shah, Manisha: Decriminalizing Indoor Prostitution: Implications for Sexual Violence and Public Health, 20281, National Bureau of Economic Research Juli 2014, , Stand: 19.07.2014.
Most governments in the world including the United States prohibit prostitution. Given these types of laws rarely change and are fairly uniform across regions, our knowledge about the impact of decriminalizing sex work is largely conjectural. We exploit the fact that a Rhode Island District Court judge unexpectedly decriminalized indoor prostitution in 2003 to provide the first causal estimates of the impact of decriminalization on the composition of the sex market, rape offenses, and sexually transmitted infection outcomes. Not surprisingly, we find that decriminalization increased the size of the indoor market. However, we also find that decriminalization caused both forcible rape offenses and gonorrhea incidence to decline for the overall population. Our synthetic control model finds 824 fewer reported rape offenses (31 percent decrease) and 1,035 fewer cases of female gonorrhea (39 percent decrease) from 2004 to 2009.
Full article available here. 


An intense debate and political struggle is taking place both internationally and in many countries on whether prostitution should be considered as violence or work, as an expression of coercion or as agency, and whether the provider of sexual services should be seen as unfree or free (Sanders, O’Neill and Pitcher, 2009). Sweden represents a quite unique context in this debate, as all political parties represented in the Swedish parliament, from left to right, are in favour of the Swedish ban on the purchase of sexual services. This legislation was introduced in 1999 and, at the time, was controversial because it defines prostitution as violence against women and only criminalises the purchase of sexual services and not their sale. In this way Sweden introduced a new system of regulating prostitution, a ‘Swedish model’, which did not fit previously adopted regulatory systems and ‘prostitution regimes’ (Skillbrei and Holmström, 2011).

Full article available here.

Joanna Busza, “Sex work and migration: The dangers of oversimplification: A case study of Vietnamese women in Cambodia”. Health and Human Rights 7:2 (2004) 231.

Full text available here.

No abstract available. Excerpt:

“The case study of migrant Vietnamese sex workers in Cambodia presented here demonstrates how local interpretations of protection from trafficking and debt bondage can contribute to abuses of sex workers’ human rights and exacerbate their vulnerability to HIV and other adverse sexual health outcomes. Using qualitative data, it examines the women’s trajectories into sex work as well as their own perceptions of work conditions and related risks. The data suggest that responses focused on merely blocking trafficking neither address the concerns voiced by sex-worker communities nor meet their needs but rather exacerbate the inherent difficulties of working as illegal immigrants in a criminalized occupation.”

Feminist debates on sex trafficking have become entrenched and polarised, with abolitionists producing images of helpless abused victims, while sex worker advocates work hard to achieve some recognition of the agency of migrant sex workers. This article explores constructions of embodiment, subjectivity and agency in the debate, showing how abolitionist views, in spite of their efforts to challenge liberal pro-sex perspectives, rely on a familiar vision of the body as a singular, bounded and sovereign entity whose borders must be secured against invasion. The result is a vision in which victimisation is taken to epistemically compromise the subjectivities of sex workers, forcing them and their advocates to argue for recognition of their agency according to familiar liberal models of consent in order to be able to enter the debate. Drawing on the recent work of Judith Butler on consent and vulnerability, this article argues that what is needed is a rethinking of bodily ontology so that the vulnerability of sex workers is not opposed to their agency, but rather seen as an inevitable aspect of embodied sociality, constituting a call to ethical engagement and a recognition of the inequitable global distributions of precarity that produce sex trafficking as part of contemporary geopolitics. From this perspective, the alignment between radical feminist efforts to secure women’s bodily borders and global efforts to secure national borders no longer appears as coincidence.


Despite evidence that the Canadian government’s attempt to deter prostitution, by criminalizing the behaviour that facilitates its occurrence, has been largely unsuccessful and detrimental to the safety and security of those who ‘sell sex’, members of parliament have done little to change course. Their commitment to a flawed paradoxical approach has forced many sex workers to provide their services in ways that increase their risk of being victimized. To date, there is little published research on how adult male sex workers understand and work around the law relating to sex work. In an effort to address this void, we present the views of 19 adult male escorts on two related issues: (1) the ambiguity of the criminal law relating to their trade and its enforcement; and (2) the use of strategies to cope with the dangers posed by the current legal climate. We show that although adult male escorts misunderstood the law, their comprehension of and experience with its enforcement gave them the impression that they must take precautionary measures to decrease their risk of being charged with a criminal offence and/or victimized by clients or the police.