Survey: Sex Workers and Law Enforcement

I’m simply passing this along:

The Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP) of the Open Society Institute’s Public Health Program is dedicated to improving the health and protecting the rights of people who are stigmatized because of their sexual practices, real or perceived sexual orientation, and/ or gender identity. SHARP works with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, men who have sex with men (MSM) and sex workers, particularly to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS, by increasing access to equitable health and social care services and promoting laws, policies and practices that bring an end to discrimination and abuse.

Due to extreme marginalization and criminalization in many societies, sex workers are unable to access basic health and education services for fear of punishment, and are limited in their freedom of movement. These barriers have led to increased health risks for and human rights violations against sex workers worldwide. Stronger and more positive relationships with law enforcement may help reduce these barriers and allow sex workers to more fully realize their rights and protect their health. Examining programs and interventions used around the world to address law enforcement-sex worker relations will allow for the development of a list of effective strategies and lessons learned which can guide existing programs and help build new ones.

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Take Action Today! PEPFAR Reauthorization- End the Pledge!

We need your help again! Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA) will gather this Wednesday, February 27, to make amendments (“known as markup”) to the PEPFAR reauthorization draft bill prepared by Congressman Berman, Acting Chairman. We must urge committee members who support the Chairman’s bill to attend the entire markup and keep the pressure on all HCFA members to support the bill. Please call members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs TODAY.As you know, the Chairman’s draft bill makes several critical improvements to U.S.-funded HIV prevention policy in order to better address the real-life needs of women and girls. It strikes the ideologically-driven requirement that 33% of prevention funds be spent on abstinence-until-marriage programs, removes the anti-prostitution pledge, and emphasizes the integration of HIV and AIDS programs with family planning programs. However, these hard-fought, life-saving provisions are in jeopardy. A small yet vocal opposition is ready to make amendments during markup that would roll back the advancements in the Chairman’s bill. Your phone calls will help ensure that these vital improvements to prevention policy remain in the bill during committee markup.

Take action NOW!

PEPFAR reauthorization will be a long fight with many opportunities for action. Just a few minutes of your time at these critical junctures can make a real difference in the course of U.S. global AIDS policy.

Please consider making phone calls TODAY to any and all of the committee members who live in your state. Click here for a list of Representatives to call, their office telephone numbers, and a sample phone script. And if you’re not in one of these states, we encourage you to circulate this action to any contacts you have in these states.

We appreciate your continued activism and will keep you informed about outcomes from markup. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need more information.

Many thanks,

Healy and Kim

Healy Thompson and Kim Whipkey
Advocacy and Outreach Team
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

hthompson@genderhealth.org, 301-637-7773
kwhipkey@genderhealth.org, 301-270-1182