Sex workers who face criminalization and repressive policing are more likely to experience violence and poorer health and well-being, according to new research.
The research found sex workers who experienced a recent arrest, prison, extortion or violence by officers, had a three times higher chance of experiencing sexual or physical violence and twice as likely to have HIV or other sexually transmitted infections, compared with sex workers who had not had these experiences recently.
This is the first systematic review examining the impact of the criminalization on sex workers’ safety and health. Researchers concluded demonstrably that harmful policies and laws need to be changed urgently to protect sex workers’ health and broader rights. Data from 33 countries was used in the research.