Recent media reports have focussed on announcements made by researchers, clinicians and some community representatives declaring that “AIDS, as a national public health issue, is over.” While it’s true that significant achievements have been made in HIV, the benefits of this have not been experienced by all people affected by the virus in the same way.
Vixen Collective (Victoria’s peer only sex worker organisation) and Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association are deeply concerned at the Andrew’s Labor Government’s misguided decision to grant $300,000 of funding to the organisation ‘Project Respect’ to work with “sex workers and victims of trafficking”.
Since May 2016, it has been reported that over 3,700 people suspected of using and/or selling drugs have been murdered in the Philippines. These atrocities has been carried out with the explicit endorsement of Filipino President, Rodrigo Duterte: who has repeatedly encouraged the police and the general public to kill people suspected of being drug users and/or of dealing drugs. The bloodshed has drawn condemnation from the international community, including from here in Australia.
The Salvation Army has once again perpetuated discrimination against sex workers in order to make money. This has happened too many times.
Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association; SWOP NSW and Touching Base welcome the NSW Government’s decision to not support a licensing system in response to the Legislative Assembly Inquiry into the Regulation of Brothels.
“Magistrate’s decision to deny bail places trans sex worker at risk.” WA 22 April 2016
Allegations of HIV transmission have been made against a transgender person living with HIV, who was also a sex worker in Western Australia.
Today the Government released IPART’s Final Report on Reforming Licensing in NSW, which recommends reforms for licensing across many industries in NSW. The report does not recommend the introduction of a licensing scheme for the sex industry, noting that “any proposed licensing scheme for the sex services industry should be assessed using the Licensing Framework to determine whether it is an appropriate government response to address the policy objectives."
Sex workers and supporters are rallying again today calling on the state government to finally address their health and safety concerns by decriminalising sex work in South Australia.
The 12th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) is to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2015. A boycott of this event is imminent due to eviction of 1000 sex workers and their families, totalling 2000 people, from a 200 year old brothel district in Bangladesh. Ironically the theme of the conference is women, and Key Affected Populations, which includes sex workers. The area has been raised by bulldozers and is described by local sex workers as now looking more like a desert than their fomer homes and workplaces.
Sex workers from over thirty countries have gathered in Melbourne at the AIDS 2014 Conference to address some of the big issues that all sex workers face.
Melbourne, July 24, 2014 — Members of the media are invited to a timely and interactive discussion on sex work, human rights, and law and policy – and how the latter can both positively and negatively affect the lives and health of sex workers around the world. Sex workers will share evidence onapproaches and real-world examples that demonstrate the true impacts of how we choose to legislate the world’s oldest profession.
Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association welcomed the launch of the 7th National HIV Strategy by Health Minister the Hon. Peter Dutton.
On the 26th February 2014, European Parliament voted 343 in favour, 139 against and 105 abstentions on a report which urges criminalising clients of sex workers in Europe. The report claims that such laws are beneficial to sex workers.
‘The Bill to criminalise clients of sex workers being debated in French Parliament on December 4 will severely endanger the lives and working conditions of sex workers if passed’, says Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association.