Articles on Sex work

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Jules Kim, Zahra Stardust and Cameron Cox at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Zahra Stardust

The stigma of sex work comes with a high cost

Stigma continues to inform legal, social and cultural attitudes towards sex work and remains a barrier to health, human rights and justice. Developing stigma indicators is one step towards change.
Due to a fear of being harassed or assaulted, many women go out of their way to avoid travelling through parts of the city where sexual entertainment venues are concentrated. Blemished Paradise/flickr

No harm done? ‘Sexual entertainment districts’ make the city a more threatening place for women

Despite the rise of feminism, strip clubs and other 'sexual entertainment' businesses have proliferated in our cities. And women are feeling the harmful impacts of the industry's presence.
Technology has provided both sex workers and their clients greater mobility and anonymity, opening sex work up to new markets. Shutterstock

Technology drives the need to rethink sex work industry regulations

The car, the phone and the internet have changed the way the sex work industry operates, but debates about regulation have not advanced with new technologies.
Decriminalisation allowed sex workers to step out of the shadows and into active participation in public life. Scarlett Alliance/Author provided

The right to bare arms: the history of Australian sex worker activism

Full decriminalisation of sex work is advocated by many health and human rights organisations around the world. Sex workers in New South Wales kick-started the process 40 years ago.
In 2016, a UK Home Affairs Committee report highlighted that street-based sex work has diminished significantly over the last two to three decades. shutterstock

Stigma and stereotypes about sex work hinder regulatory reform

Consensual sex work, like non-commercial sex, mostly happens behind closed doors. Yet stigma toward and ignorance about sex workers makes people panic when we try to talk about reform.
Different local or state government laws apply in different parts of the country in Australia, Germany, the US and Mexico. Reuters/Kimberly White

Sex work and the law – it’s complicated

Understanding laws that govern sex work can be complicated and confusing, especially because laws are not uniform globally, or even within each country.
Ngwe Thein says he was forced to work on a fishing trawler with inadequate food and little or no pay. APTN, Esther Htusan/AP Photo

Data science can help us fight human trafficking

July 30 marks the United Nations’ World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. How can computer scientists help combat this problem?
Activists supporting the decriminalisation of sex work at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. International AIDS Society/Abhi Indrarajan

A sex worker’s view on South Africa’s latest plans to beat HIV

South Africa has launched a plan to tackle HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections -- but much depends on its implementation over the next five years.
Nigerian former sex worker “Beauty” at a social support centre for trafficked girls near Catania in Italy. Reuters/Tom Esslemont

How strong family ties play a role in sex trafficking in Nigeria

Nigerian women migrating to Europe are increasingly aware that work hidden in the form of menial jobs is actually sex work, even though they cannot imagine the brutality that comes with it.
From the depths of the dark web, the identities and location of pimps can be scrubbed. 'Laptop' via www.shutterstock.com

How the American online sex trade continues to thrive

Two criminologists wanted to learn the tricks of the trade so they went to the source, interviewing over 70 pimps.
Activists protest the criminalisation of sex work outside the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. International AIDS Society/Abhi Indrarajan

Why migration patterns are so important to designing responses to HIV

Mobility is not only a risk factor for HIV – it is also a structural determinant in how HIV responses are designed and implemented.
Masked sex workers lead a march to mark International Sex Workers’ Rights Day. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Debate around sex work in South Africa tilts towards decriminalisation

Sex workers in South Africa are all potential criminals due to the country's regressive laws. But their status may change soon, making South Africa the first African country to decriminalise sex work.

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