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"Sex Work Policy At Crucial Juncture" Scarlet Alliance Speaks at Human Rights Networking Zone, followed by Media Conference

Melbourne, July 24, 2014 — Members of the media are invited to a timely and interactive discussion on sex work, human rights, and law and policy – and how the latter can both positively and negatively affect the lives and health of sex workers around the world. Sex workers will share evidence onapproaches and real-world examples that demonstrate the true impacts of how we choose to legislate the world’s oldest profession.

SEX WORK, LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS: A CRITICAL MÉNAGE-À-TROIS

International panel to discuss how laws and policies affect sex workers worldwide

To date, few laws and policies respect the human and labour rights of sex workers, and generally forcecontrol from sex workers over their working conditions. These legal frameworks undermine sex workers’ ability to work safely, including their ability to practice safer sex.

“All too often, we incorrectly focus on the so-called ‘inherent dangers’ of sex work. The real danger occurs when we wilfully ignore the health and human rights of sex workers when constructing laws and policy that directly affect them,” said Richard Elliott, Executive Director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, co-host of the Human Rights Networking Zone. “This panel will debunk some truly unhelpful – and deadly – theories of sex work, and highlight the groundbreaking legislation that is actually working.”

“The opening sessions of the 20th International AIDS Conference identified the ways that criminalization makes sex workers vulnerable to HIV, and that human rights for affected communities must be a focus,” said Janelle Fawkes, Chief Executive Officer, Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Associationand event panelist. “There is significant evidence demonstrating that decriminalization is the only model of regulation that creates an enabling environment to support sex workers’ human and labour rights, and ability to implement safe sex practices with clients.”

Event: Sex, Work, Rights

Date: Thursday, July 24th

Time: 11:00 – 12:30 p.m, with media availability to follow

Location: Human Rights Networking Zone (in the Global Village)

Follow this event and other human rights-based programming on Twitter at @HIVhumanRIGHTS #HIVrights and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hivhumanrights

Please visit http://www.hivhumanrightsnow.org/ for more information on this panel and all human rights programming for AIDS 2014.