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No Turning Back

Stigma, criminal laws, and punitive policing practices harm sex workers, including their health. In response, a growing number of authorities across the world have called for the decriminalization of sex work and support to sex worker–led organizations. However, the way sex worker groups engage with law enforcement, health providers, and their own communities to address these concerns has received much less attention.

The six case studies presented in this publication—in Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, South Africa, and Zimbabwe—offer a look at real-life sex worker–led programming that has reduced police abuse, health risks, and other adverse impacts of bad laws and law enforcement on sex workers.

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