Leaving no one behind @Beijing+25 and COVID-19: Lessons about Equality and Justice from Sex Workers
Thoughout the world, sex workers of all genders face widespread stigma, discrimination and violence, including by the police, judiciary and health workers. At the same time, sex workers’ rights movements globally are responding to the issues of gender inequality, discrimination against migrants, exploitation of precarious workers and lack of access to labor rights, with a focus on voice, choice and access to rights.
The rapid global spread of SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus) and the pandemic of COVID-19 brings the impact of sex workers’ lack of access to equality and justice in sharp relief. In addition to the “commonplace” challenges faced by sex workers (lack of access to labor rights, criminalization, police harassment, etc.), under COVID-19 these have become extreme, as sex workers’ whose livelihoods were already precarious, have been pushed even further to the margins. Moreover most governments’ emergency relief scheme have entirely left sex workers behind. At the same time, sex worker-led organizing has also intensified to meet the rights and needs of sex workers in this crisis.
Despite the deep and ongoing impact of COVID-19, this session will celebrate achievements, share good practices and promising innovations and discuss key challenges focusing on participation, representation and voice of sex workers and on ensuring sex workers’ rights to bodily autonomy.
Please join the Count Me In! consortium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Global Network of Sex Work Project for this important discussion!