Sex Worker Rights

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Sex Worker Rights

Sex Worker Rights

The Open Society Foundations work to ensure that people who are stigmatized because of their sexual practices, sexual orientation, or gender identity have access to quality health and social services and can effectively advocate for their rights.

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Programs

The following Open Society programs focus on this topic.

More on the ideas and programs behind our work: Sex Worker Rights. Hide info

Recent Work

Voices
The False Promise of “End Demand” Laws

Despite its recent popularity, it’s worth recognizing that the so-called Nordic model of criminalizing the purchasing of sex falls well short of what sex workers in Lyon, France, demanded more than 40 years ago.

Explainer
Understanding Sex Work in an Open Society

Who are sex workers, and why do the Open Society Foundations support their struggle for rights?

Voices
Q&A: Lawyers on the Margins Find Creative Ways to Help Their Clients—and Each Other

Given worrying recent trends, the need for specialized legal assistance to vulnerable groups continues to grow. But this collaborative network of peers is rising to the challenge.

Voices
The Problem with Criminalizing Sex Workers’ Clients  

Kate McGrew, coordinator at Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, explains how labor rights can protect sex workers in ways criminalization can’t.

Report
No Turning Back

This report offers a look at sex worker–led programming that has reduced police abuse, health risks, and other adverse impacts of bad laws and law enforcement on sex workers.

Voices
Criminalized Condoms Force China’s Sex Workers to Make a Difficult Choice

A new study shows how sex workers are made more vulnerable by police seizures of condoms as evidence of illegal activity.