Sex work and violence

Apr 19, 2015
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On 30 January, a mesmerizing report was launched at the Asia-Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV in Bangkok: The Right(s) Evidence—Sex Work, Violence And HIV In Asia: A Multi-Country Qualitative Study . It is a ground-breaking piece of work for several reasons. It involved an unusual collaboration among governments, sex-worker organizations, communities, UN agencies, and regional agencies in Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is full of fascinating insights into the lives of women, men and transgender people in the sex industry. It finds compelling evidence of widespread violence. It provides thoughtful, evidence-based analysis on causes and possible solutions. It points to a culture of impunity among the police, doctors, and other powerful players that in turn increases the threats of violence, trauma, disease and despair among sex workers, and by extension their families, communities, and customers. It’s full of first-person accounts.

The ultimate juicy news story, and you’ve never heard of it.


Meena Saraswathi Seshu, secretary general of activist organization Sampada Gramin Mahila Sanstha (Sangram), one of the co-authors of the report, talked with me after I had read the report. I know Seshu. She is articulate, and smart. She knows both the media and the landscape of sex work, having organized sex workers for decades. She fully expected the report to create a splash, but instead, she told me, it was greeted with “absolute and total silence”.

“It was launched in Bangkok—nobody wrote about it. It was launched in Myanmar—nobody wrote about it. The UN distributes it—nobody writes about it. Media came to all the events. People from TV, people from newspapers—they interviewed people like the study’s interviewers, who were all sex workers themselves. And then nobody wrote about it.”
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Jody Williams
Jody Williams
9 years ago

This is what they do – try and “silence” it away. I haven’t been able to really “prove” this until this whole “8 Minute” issue – but now I do have proof that this is deliberate. I spoke to five reporters who told me they had been threatened in some way or another into not only not revealing they knew the truth behind the show being a fake – but also into not writing about our program which actually does the work they’re pretending to do. There are parasites that work their way into a host animal but first sucking… Read more »

9 years ago
Reply to  TRPWL

If she was 24 in 1984, as she said in a previous comment, then she is 55 today. It is fair to say the Corky potential would be quite high in any firther offspring.

9 years ago
Reply to  crunkleschwitz

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