This study describes the use of traditional public sociology as a method of recruitment for organic public sociology research with sex workers. Drawing on their grounded research experience, the authors discuss the issues of representation and framing of the research that arise when engaging in public research with multiple stakeholder publics. Specifically, professional publics may act as gatekeepers to subaltern groups and publicly engaged research risks reproducing existing power inequities and marginalization. However, traditional public sociology can be a tool to engage with subaltern groups and to construct a public where one did not exist; here we examine the complexities, the possibilities, and pitfalls of constructing publics.
This tool offers practical advice on implementing HIV and STI programmes for and with sex workers. It is based on the recommendations in the guidance document on Prevention and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections for sex workers in low- and middle-income countries published in 2012 by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the Global Network of Sex Work Projects.
Topics covered in the tool include approaches and principles to building programmes that are led by the sex worker community such as community empowerment, addressing violence against sex workers, and community-led services; they include how to implement the recommended condom and lubricant programming, and other crucial health-care interventions for HIV prevention, treatment and care; and they include suggestions on how to manage programmes and build the capacity of sex worker organizations. The tool contains examples of good practice from around the world that may support efforts in planning programmes and services.
The tool is designed for use by public-health officials and managers of HIV and STI programmes; NGOs, including community and civil-society organizations; and health workers. It may also be of interest to international funding agencies, health policy-makers and advocates.
Barbara Kavemann, Heike Rabe (2007): The Act Regulating the Legal Situation of Prostitutes – implementation, impact, current developments. Findings of a study on the impact of the German Prostitution Act
The entry into force of the Prostitution Act at the beginning of 2002 was a milestone in the political discussion on improving the legal position and social situation of prostitutes in Germany that had gone on for decades.
This paper sets out the key findings of a comprehensive study on the impact of the German Prostitution Act. The study was commissioned by the BMFSFJ (Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth) and carried out by an independent research institute1 from 2004 to 2006. When the Act came into force in 2002, the German Bundestag instructed the Federal Government to carry out a study after two years to look at the impact of the new regulatory situation. The Federal Government’s report, which was submitted in 2007 and is also available in English, was based on this study.2
The German Federal Government places its policy on prostitution in the context of stepping up efforts to prosecute trafficking in human beings and correspondingly its conclusions prioritise better protection of victims of trafficking in human beings and protection of minors. It also stresses the importance of helping people to get out of prostitution.
In this summary of our study, we shall focus on the question of social security and working conditions for prostitutes. We see not only the combating of trafficking in human beings as a human rights issue, but also the tackling of working conditions that are harmful to health, unacceptable or dangerous. At stake here are the rights of those women and men who earn their living through prostitution based on an autonomous, rational decision and to some extent conditioned by serious personal difficulties such as violent backgrounds, predicaments such as debt, or very limited options caused by social exclusion, unemployment or social cleavages resulting from the EU enlargement. They are confronted with widespread discrimination and have no lobby unless they come into the “victim of trafficking” category. In the course of our study, we interviewed a large number of prostitutes about their life situations and what they expect of the Act. We would like this paper to give them a voice.
Our intent is to make our findings available for international discussion; we have placed them in the context of political developments in Germany and compared them with regulations in other European countries.
Charrlotte Seib, Michael P. Dunne, Jane Fischer, Jackob M. Najman (2012): Predicting the Job Satisfaction of Female Sex Workers in Queensland, Australia, International Journal of Sexual Health, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp. 99-111.
This study used a cross-sectional survey to examine job satisfaction and its correlates among 247 female sex workers working as private service providers, in licensed brothels, and in illegal sectors of the industry (mainly street-based workers). Overall, most sex workers reported positive job satisfaction. Satisfaction was higher in women working legally and was comparable with women from the general population. Multivariate analyses revealed that job satisfaction was significantly linked to women’s reasons for initially entering the industry. Sex workers’ age, education, marital status, length of time in the industry, and current working conditions were apparently less important for satisfaction.