These women are trying to provide for their children and families, so they take the offer. In Lesotho, for example, where HIV prevalence among female sex workers was estimated at Even though sex work is at least partially legal in some countries, the law rarely protects sex workers. Sex tourism is fuelling the demand for sex workers in many countries, particularly in Asia and the Caribbean. Around the world, there is a severe lack of legislation and policies protecting sex workers who may be at risk of violence from both state and non-state actors such as law enforcement, partners, family members and their clients.
They may either be afraid to seek out these services for fear of discrimination, or be prevented from accessing them — for instance, if a nurse refuses to treat them after finding out about their occupation. In other words, we can not enable sex workers to live and work safely. What also became clear was that although we have invented many ways to describe the various legal approaches to sex work — prohibition, regulation, toleration, decriminalisation, legalisation, depenalisation and partial decriminalisation to name a few — there is no consensus about what these terms actually mean. When I visited a VCT [voluntary counselling and testing] clinic, health personnel were not polite and immediately asked me if I was a sex worker. Migrant sex workers often become the targets of both police and immigration officers, especially those who cross borders both legally and illegally and do not have immigration status. To end violence and extortion of sex workers and enable them to access justice, services and decent work conditions requires new, location-specific legal and regulatory frameworks as well as fresh approaches to health, economic programmes and cultural change. This forces them onto the street where control over condom and drug use is compromised and exposure to violence is heightened, all of which compounds their vulnerability to HIV. This lack of protection leaves sex workers open to abuse, violence and rape, creating an environment which can facilitate HIV transmission. One example is Belgium , in which brothels are illegal, but in practice, they are tolerated, operate quite openly, and in some parts of the country, the situation is similar of that in neighboring Netherlands. Prostitution in European areas Sovereign states. Other than facing the criminalisation of sex work, they may also face surveillance, racial profiling, arrest, detention, deportation and other restrictions on mobility imposed by criminal, immigration and trafficking laws. The enforcement of the anti-prostitution laws varies by country. Female, male and transgender adults and young people who receive money or goods in exchange for sexual services, either regularly or occasionally. Even in countries where HIV prevalence is low, trafficked people who are forced to sell sex are highly vulnerable to HIV infection because they struggle to access condoms, cannot negotiate condom use and are often subjected to violence. Without this it is impossible to fully understand how these laws impact on human rights, economic outcomes, gender-based violence, public health or human trafficking. After decades of working on sex work issues, I have for some time been frustrated at the lack of accurate and accessible information about laws and policies governing how sex is bought and sold across the world. Sex tourism is fuelling the demand for sex workers in many countries, particularly in Asia and the Caribbean. This means that much of the heterosexual commercial sex taking place globally is criminalised by laws against third parties such as brothel managers rather than by laws against the women who sell sex. In Sweden ,  Northern Ireland ,  Norway ,  Iceland ,  and France  it is illegal to pay for sex the client commits a crime, but not the prostitute. In turn, this discourages many sex workers who inject drugs from seeking HIV prevention and treatment. Sex workers are among the highest risk groups for HIV. Institute of Development Studies A map that brings together all the laws relating to sex work around the globe has been a long time coming. In various ways, these factors contribute to their vulnerability to HIV. Sex workers who use drugs can be stigmatised in workplace venues where drug use is discouraged. Even though sex work is at least partially legal in some countries, the law rarely protects sex workers. Unsurprisingly, without the correct information, myths abound and debates become polarised. HIV prevention services that are sex-worker led and community based are proven to be most effective when they address the legal and social barriers that affect sex workers.
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