The UN’s Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls’ publishes position paper on the human rights of sex workers.
The UN’s Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls is a global effort to address gender-based discrimination. Comprising of five independent experts of balanced geographical representation, it examines gender equality issues, proposes changes to eliminate bias, and advocates for women’s and girls’ rights worldwide, playing a vital role in the UN’s efforts to combat discrimination and promote gender equality.
The Working Group has come out in support of the full decriminalisation of sex work from a human rights perspective, in confirmation of the reality that this holds the greatest potential to address systemic discrimination and violence against sex workers, along with widespread human rights violations. Whilst the sex worker’s rights movement has been instrumental in running our own human rights documentation projects for many years, these efforts have been held back by systemic barriers to accessing these accountability mechanisms and by anti-sex-work stigma.
Written in consultation with sex workers, this position paper aims to raise the visibility of violations of sex workers’ human rights under different policy regimes, to clarify and re-affirm international human rights standards and to make recommendations for States and other stakeholders, to further realise the human rights of sex workers.