Health and rights of sex workers

© Boris Svartzman

Health and rights of sex workers

Reports
Doctors of the World – Médecins du monde France (MdM-F) has been working with sex workers since 1991. In 2016, programmes that directly or indirectly concern them exist in 9 countries: France, Russia, Mexico, Burma, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. Members of the MdM International Network are also developing national programmes for sex workers in Belgium, Germany, Canada, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland.

The 2015-2020 strategic plan for MdM-F is based upon a vision focusing on promoting the health of population groups through access to health care and changes to the law. In order to design a cross-cutting political and operational framework that takes into account the diverse areas of intervention, and given the complexity of challenges related to sex work in terms of health and rights, MdM-F has aimed to clarify and formalise its position on this subject. It is based on the expertise gained from its in-the-field practice, on the scientific and institutional literature available, on contributions from sex worker organisations and experts from civil society, scientific and institutional backgrounds, as well as on consultations with sex workers taking part in MdM-F programmes.

In accordance with its values, MdM strongly denounces any form of exploitation, coercion, trafficking and violence practised against human beings. Furthermore, and just as for any marginalised and repressed population group, MdM highlights as a priority the need to empower sex workers, whether under age or adults, to exercise their fundamental rights provided for by international texts on the health, rights and protection of persons.