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Senior Research Fellow, Monash University

Cheryl Overs is a sex worker rights activist from Australia where she founded the Prostitutes Collective of Victoria and the national sex workers network, Scarlet Alliance in the early eighties. Cheryl migrated to Europe and established the Network of Sex Work Projects in 1992 which has since grown into a strong global alliance of sex workers.

Since 1999 Cheryl has worked in HIV prevention and care programmes for male, female and transgender sex workers in developing countries and supported local activists in more than 20 developing countries working with sex worker groups and organisations including UN agencies, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Since 2009 Cheryl has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Michael Kirby Centre at Monash University in Melbourne and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies UK. She was a member of the Community Organising Committee of the International AIDS Conference and Co-Chair of its ‘Global Village’. She is also a member of the Technical Advisory Group of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.
Cheryl’s current work includes developing an on-line resource centre on sex work, a multi-country study of the impact of law on sex workers and a community legal service for sex workers in Cambodia.

As well as academic publications Cheryl has written several key resources including 'Making Sex Work Safe: a guide for programme managers, field workers and policy makers' (1996); Sex Workers: Part of the Solution (2001), Understanding Sex Work (2005) and Sex Work and the New Era of HIV Prevention and Care (2008) Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (2010.)


  • 2010–present
    Senior Recearch Fellow, The Hon. Michael Kirby Centre for Human Rights and Public Health


  • 1986 
    La Trobe University, Bachelor of Social Science

Research Areas

  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality (200205)
  • Legal Ethics (220105)
  • Medical Ethics (220106)
  • Bioethics (Human And Animal) (220101)
  • Human Rights And Justice Issues (220104)
  • Human Rights Law (180114)
  • Reproduction (111404)


Memeber of the Global Comission on HIV