To: UN Women

Call for UN Women to Meaningfully Consult Sex Workers

The signatories of this petition call on UN Women to engage in a meaningful consultation with sex workers in developing their policy on sex work and ensure their sex work policy respects, protects and fulfils the human rights of sex workers and recognises the agency and self-determination of sex workers.

以下签字者呼吁联合国妇女署 在制定其关于性工作者的政策时,与性工作者进行有效咨商。确保其性工作政策尊重、保护和实现性工作者的人权,承认性工作者的能动性和自我决策。

Les signataires ci-dessous appellent ONU femmes à consulter les travailleurSEs du sexe de manière significative dans le cadre du développement de leur politique en matière de travail du sexe et s'assurer que leur politique en matière de travail de travail du sexe protège, respecte et garantit les droits humains des travailleurSEs du sexe tout en reconnaissant leur autodétermination et leurs choix.

El signatario más abajo llama a la ONU Mujeres a participar en una consulta significativa con personas que ejercen el trabajo sexual para desarrollar su política sobre trabajo sexual y asegurar que su política respete, proteja y cumpla con los derechos humanos de las personas que ejercen el trabajo sexual y que reconozca la autodeterminación de las personas que ejercen el trabajo sexual.

Организации и лица, подписавшиеся под этим документом, призывают организацию "ООН-женщины" начать полноценную консультацию с секс-работниками, с опорой на которую будет строиться разработка комплекса политических мер, касающихся секс-работы а также гарантировать, что новая политика по вопросам секс-работы будет составлена таким образом, чтобы позволить уважать, защищать и соблюдать права человека секс-работников и признавать их способность самостоятельно действовать и принимать решения.

Why is this important?

NSWP, a global network of 263 sex worker led organisations from 78 countries across the world, is rallying a call for UN Women to engage in a meaningful consultation with sex workers as they develop their policy on sex work.

The UNAIDS Joint Programme on AIDS, of which UN Women is a Co-Sponsor, already has a sex work policy that is founded in UN Human Rights treaties, and which was developed following a meaningful consultation process with sex workers and other stakeholders.

NSWP received an invitation from UN Women to participate in a formal e-consultation on the 7 September 2016. However, such a process is biased towards those with privilege and will exclude the majority of sex workers in the global south who have limited access to the Internet; most of whom are not literate in the colonialist languages of the United Nations and are not familiar with UN treaties and documents that guide UN Women, and around which their consultation is framed.

UN Women believe it is important to hear “from various people and groups, agencies and organizations which have an interest in this issue including: sex workers / sex worker groups, survivors of prostitution and groups representing them, feminist and women’s rights organizations.” While sex workers are named first, the process being used and the failure to organise any national or regional sex worker consultations shows either an ignorance about the reality of sex workers lives, a failure to recognise the centrality that sex workers should play in the development of sex work policies and programmes or a desire to limit the involvement of sex workers in the development of this policy.

NSWP believes it is essential that sex workers are provided with opportunities to meaningfully engage in consultations that will impact upon them and commend Sex Workers and Allies South Asia [SWASA] who will organise a face to face consultation with sex workers in the South Asian region to gather their voices and to document what a meaningful consultation process is for women who are marginalised and discriminated against even within the women’s movements.

Experience has taught sex worker communities - at local, national, regional and global levels - that policies imposed without being informed by the lived experiences and meaningful involvement of sex workers can often have a severe detrimental effect on the lives of sex workers and their families. In light of sex workers experiences with such harmful policies NSWP offers UN Women a draft framework for a human rights affirming approach to sex work for consideration and further consultation during the development of their policy. The draft framework is available here: http://www.nswp.org/resource/draft-framework-un-women-human-rights-affirming-approach-sex-work-response-un-women-e

Nothing about us, without us!


Reasons for signing

  • This call should not be limited to only UNWomen. Sex workers are most times left out when issues that affects them are discussed and decisions taken. The annoying thing in it is that, most times such exclusions are premeditated/intentional. A question begging for answer - Can you barb someone's hair in his/her absence?
  • Nothing for sex workers without sex workers
  • As a signatory of this petition we collectively call on UN Women to engage in a meaningful consultation with sex workers in developing policy on sex work and ensure that sex work policy respects, protects and fulfils human rights protocols. By sex workers for sex workers incorporate avenues for sex worker led agency and self-determination . Nothing about us without us.