Sex Work Research is a repository of writing on sex work, including academic research, organizational reports, media reports, and independent research.

Commentary is welcome, but subject to moderation.

We welcome comments and discussion of the posted writings and materials and encourage a constructive as well as critical engagement with such materials. In order to ensure a good and respectful discussion, comments are moderated.

Sex work research was initiated by Sonja Dolinsek (Twitter: @sonjdol), it is not funded by any organization and it lives solely through the efforts, the time and work of currently two individuals interested in spreading research on sex work across various disciplines.


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We are currently two people posting content on the blog (in alphabetical order):

Sonja Dolinsek (Twitter: @sonjdol) is a German-Italian blogger and researcher based in Berlin. Her research focuses on the history of prostitution and sex workers’ rights in 20th century Germany. She has studied political science, history and philosophy at various universities, including the University of Bologna, Sciences Po Rennes, Brown University, and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She is the Founder and Editor of the German online magazine, Menschenhandel Heute (human trafficking today), where critical analyses of human trafficking policies and reports and their impact on migrants, sex workers and human rights are published. Sonja is committed to a human rights based approach to human trafficking, as well as to the strengthening of the rights of sex workers and (undocumented) migrants.

Wendy Lyon (@wendylyon) is a Dublin-based researcher and blogger with the Feminist Ire collective ( She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Griffith College Dublin, writing her dissertation on sex workers’ right to health. Her day job is as a refugee, immigration and human rights lawyer.

Sarah M. is an MA candidate in Geography at Brock University. She also holds an MA – Integrated Studies in literary studies from Athabasca University. Her research can be found in Briarpatch magazine,, Canadian Theatre Review, and Digital Studies. She blogs at

Lilith Ho is a sex worker activist based currently in NYC, interested in contributing to reviews of book-length research on sex work and human trafficking.

People who contributed in the past

Matthias Lehmann (@photogroffee) is an independent researcher currently based in Berlin after extensive stays in East Asia. A graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Univ. of London) and Kyung Hee University, he has conducted research and fieldwork in Thailand and South Korea. In 2011, he launched Research Project Korea (, an on-going effort to add to the knowledge about the experiences of sex workers in South Korea. In 2012, he participated in the Sex Workers’ Freedom Festival in Kolkata. His research focus lies on the collateral damage caused by anti-trafficking and anti-prostitution legislation, in particular where the rights of sex workers and migrants are concerned. Starting in 2014, he will continue his research as a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law at Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Matthias contributed until October 2013.

Access to papers

If you do not have access to certain research papers, but would like to find out more about the contents, arguments and claims of the paper, contact us. We will see what we can do to help you with that. Please provide your full name and, if you are working for an organization, the name of that organization.


If you wish to submit a suggestion for a post or contact us for any reason, please use the contact box below.

  1. I am not anti-sw. Am a scholar who fights human trafficking. Followed a tweet exchange with Wendy & you on twitter watched a youtube video and would like information on how to include sw in fight against trafficking as well as more on sw that is not trafficking. Please respond to email below. I have a website and would like to integrate your position. Thanks, Karre.

    • As of now, we do not have an explicitly stated position. Generally speaking, I believe that fighting against human trafficking (understood as exploitation) is not only compatible with a strengthening of sex workers’ rights, but that decriminalization of sex work is a necessary tool. Sex workers are not criminals – even thought half the globe believes so. As long as sex workers are criminalized, the fight against human trafficking for sexual exploitation will be half-hearted. But of course, those who conflate sex work with human trafficking, won’t see this argument. Please do not quote this comment – it is my personal view. For research on human trafficking that reflects this view, look at

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