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Animated Video Series: Six Years of the Sex Worker Implementation Tool

After six long years, SWAN and our associate organisations under the Sex Worker Networks Consortium are celebrating the end of a long process – the international rollout of the Sex Worker Implementation Tool. Along with service providers, UN agencies, and technical experts,  sex-worker-led networks from across the globe (including Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW), African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), Caribbean Sex Work Coalition (CSWC) and La Plataforma Latino América de Personas que Ejercen el Trabajo Sexual (PLAPERTS)  and led by the NSWP) worked to develop an international set of practical guidelines for meeting the needs of sex workers in HIV programming and STI testing, with the eventual goal of this becoming the ‘gold standard’ worldwide. Rightfully acknowledging that effective sexual and reproductive health programming is impossible without the empowerment of sex workers, it advocates for the meaningful involvement and leadership of sex workers at every level: from condom distribution and outreach to community resource centres as well as the full decriminalisation of sex work.

SWAN has successfully rolled out this guidance on a national level in Russia, Armenia, Macedonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine. In these seven countries, sex worker-led organisations have implemented SWIT on a national level through different activities and reaching different goals – from community mobilisation and sex worker-led outreach to services monitoring, advocacy strategies, and organisational development. 

In the process of distributing this information to stakeholders we also understand it is vital that this information also remains accessible and coherent to the people we represent – sex workers! With help from our community working group and RightsReporter Foundation, we have created a series of six videos, available in English and Russian, which summarise the key points in each chapter of the Sex Worker Implementation Tool. The challenge of representing sex workers visually without endangering those who do not wish to be public has been solved beautifully with drawings and animations of real sex workers by illustrator Lili Rontó.

It is crucial that sex workers are able to self-advocate for better representation & involvement in the services that cater to us, and for our needs to be met. We hope that by making this information beautiful, entertaining and accessible you will feel empowered to do so! You can use these videos for community training, public events, sensitivity trainings, advocacy with stakeholders and rights-based programmes, and anything else you can think of! A warm thankyou to Ameliya, Tais Plus, Legalife, Star-Star, and Right Side who participated in this as a working group!

You can watch the full series of videos, in English and Russian, below. If you would like to read the full SWIT booklet, you can do so here, or you can see a summarising infographic here.

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