Sex Work Decriminalisation- Global Advocacy
First Study in the Series 'Breaking the Stigma- A Photographic Journey of Sex Work Decriminalisation Advocacy'
Decriminalizing sex work is a controversial and complex issue that has been debated globally for many years. The debate is complex and multi-faceted, and there are valid arguments on both sides of the issue. It is difficult to determine the exact percentage of global workers engaged in sex work, as the industry is largely underground and often stigmatized, making accurate data collection challenging. However, the United Nations estimates that there are at least 20 million sex workers worldwide.
Many sex workers operate in an environment of criminalization, which can lead to increased violence, harassment, and stigma. Issues of equality and basic employment rights such as workplace health and safety are fundamental to the debate. A 2019 report by Amnesty International found that sex workers are at a higher risk of violence and human rights abuses due to criminalization.
The Global Conference on the Decriminalisation of Sex Work, held in Sydney, NSW, Australia in 2012 was a groundbreaking event that brought together experts, advocates, policymakers, and sex workers from around the world to discuss the complex issue of sex work and its legal status. The conference aimed to promote a more nuanced and evidence-based approach to sex work policy, with a focus on the benefits of decriminalisation for sex workers, their communities, and public health.
Over the course of several days, participants engaged in lively discussions, shared insights and experiences, and explored strategies for advancing decriminalisation efforts globally. Participants attended educational field visits across a range of associated organisations and facilities such as legal brothels, health care centres, addiction prevention and rehabilitation units as well as talks by regulator and law enforcement support and advocacy agencies.
The conference served as a critical platform for advancing the human rights and dignity of sex workers, and it marked a significant milestone in the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in the sex industry.