CSBR hosts Project CARE: A regional program on holistic well-being & the sustainability of queer, trans and intersex activism in Asia
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In February 2018, CSBR launched Project CARE: Continuous and Responsive Empowerment through well-being initiatives for LGBTI human rights defenders in SSEA–a regional program in partnership with Asia Pacific Trans Network (APTN), ASEAN SOGI Caucus (ASC), …

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Affirming UN Agencies Positions on Sex Work

Submitted by on March 22, 2018 – 6:48 amNo Comment

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At the start of CSW 62, CSBR joined over 230 organizations from across the world to call on the UNSG to reaffirm support for UN Agencies’ long-standing position on sex work, which has been developed with the meaningful engagement of sex workers, as well as representatives of women’s rights and human rights organizations.


 

13 March 2018

H.E. Antonio Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations

c.c.
H.E. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Executive Director, UN Women

Ana Maria Menéndez
Senior Advisor on Policy

RE: UN Position on Sex Work

Dear Y.E. Guterres,

At the beginning of the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women we are writing to express our concern about discussions within your office to revisit the UN’s and in particular, UN Women’s, position on sex work.

We are individuals and organizations that work to advance the full realization of women’s and girls’ human rights and achieve gender equality across the world. Sex workers’ rights are human rights and all
women and girls, including sex workers, have the right to work under conditions of dignity and safety, without the fear of criminalization or violence.

UN agencies already have a clear position on sex work that has been developed with the meaningful engagement of sex workers, as well as representatives of women’s rights and human rights organizations. This is the case, for instance, for the UN Joint Programme on AIDS guidance on HIV and sex work, and the policy recommendations of the Global Commission on HIV & the Law, managed by UNDP. The results are policies that place the human rights of sex workers at the center, respect the agency and self-determination of all sex workers, recognize that sex workers have the same rights as other workers in relation to rights at work, social protection and social dialogue as outlined in ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, respect the agency and self-determination of all sex workers, and recommend decriminalization of sex work and related acts. It is the position that is supported by the best available evidence about what is effective in empowering sex workers, eliminating discrimination and reducing violence against them.

Given the mandate of the United Nations to promote equality and human rights for all, it is essential that the UN and UN Women continue to take such a rights-affirming approach to sex work. There cannot be a so-called ‘neutral’ position on the human rights of sex workers; that would actually undermine sex workers’ human rights and run counter to the principles of the UN Charter.

We look forward to hearing a clear statement from your office reaffirming support for the UN Agencies’ long-standing position on sex work, and working with you to further advance the human rights of all
people, including sex workers.


See the full list of signatories here: SG Letter on Sex Work

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