03 Nov

Breaking Barriers to Participation

RUF ISC 2017_s

Five Years of Participatory Grantmaking at the Red Umbrella Fund

By Jurre Anema

In the past half year I had the honor of writing my thesis at the Red Umbrella Fund office in Amsterdam. I was introduced to the global movement of sex worker rights activists and had the opportunity to speak with some of the great individuals that are playing a big role in their local, regional or global movement. My objective was to explore how the participation of sex workers at the Red Umbrella Fund has been organized and experienced. As the Red Umbrella Fund just celebrated its fifth anniversary, the Fund is making time to reflect and document its experience in order to further improve its work in the future.

Participatory Processes

“I always thought that the Red Umbrella Fund is what the world needed, because I really love the idea of changing where the power is.” (research respondent)

There is much academic literature about participation, outlining different levels and qualities of participation processes. Analyzing the processes of the Red Umbrella Fund, there cannot be a doubt that the Red Umbrella Fund is a highly participatory organization, functioning in the top levels of all participatory models. Participation is at the heart of the Fund and at the basis of every major process, initiative and decision. The Red Umbrella Fund has made more than one hundred grants to sex worker-led groups and directly involved over forty sex workers from diverse regions in its decision making structures.

Time for Reflections

The Red Umbrella Fund was created in 2012. Five years after its first grants were made, it is now time to share some of the challenges and reflections I captured from people that have been engaged in different decision making processes at the Fund. Many challenges that the Red Umbrella Fund and its participants experience are not easily overcome; they are part of working with a global and diverse movement and a participatory organization.

Barriers to Break

Based on the interviews I had with people involved in the Red Umbrella Fund I distill five key challenges to participation that the Red Umbrella Fund struggles with: language barriers; distance; knowledge and experience; safety and security; and resource limitations.

  • Overcoming language barriers

Language is seen as one of the biggest barriers by respondents in my study. The Red Umbrella Fund’s peer review panel, the PAC, functions entirely in English. The International Steering Committee (ISC), basically the board, currently works in three languages (currently English, Russian and Spanish) which is quite a feat. But if someone does not speak any of those languages there simply is no possibility to participate in Red Umbrella Fund’s internal decision making processes so far. This excludes the majority  of the global sex workers’ movement.

And for the people who do participate, those who are native English speakers have an obvious advantage. They do not need an interpreter for conversations and can therefore often respond and articulate their statements more easily than non-native speakers can. However, the non-English speaking people on the ISC are well-accommodated: documents are translated for them and at every online and offline meeting an interpreter is present. Furthermore, in both ISC and PAC meetings the participants are aware of the different levels of English and try to articulate clearly and talk slowly. This way the people that actually can participate have the opportunity to fully engage in discussions.

  • Overcoming geographical distance

As the Red Umbrella Fund works globally but has just one small office in Amsterdam, most communications take place online through Skype, phone and email. Online meetings require technology and are complicated to plan when the time difference between participants may be ten hours or more. And there is a recognition that not all sex worker rights activists and groups are able to be equally active online, or are able to safely engage online as sex workers and human rights defenders. Usually once a year, as long as resources allow, a face-to-face meeting takes place. Such meetings provide valuable opportunities to build trust and understanding and have more in-depth discussions and focused time together. But they are also relatively expensive and require much time commitment from all involved. In addition, visa restrictions have challenged the Fund in being able to get all participants together at face-to-face meetings.

  • Recognizing and building knowledge and experience

An extensive educational background and grantmaking experience are not necessary to participate in the Red Umbrella Fund’s processes. Instead, activist experience and knowledge of the movements, also at local level, are highly valued and relevant. But having experience in a board, with strategic planning or with annual budgets can come in handy.

“The International NGOs, they always put barriers for sex workers to apply for things. I don’t see that with the Red Umbrella Fund. They do not ask for degrees, they do not ask for bachelors, they just ask for community people to put in something that makes sense.” (research respondent)

But lack of relevant knowledge and experience are perceived as a barrier for (potential) participants. People with no or limited experience in regional or global networks or processes might not feel confident to apply for the ISC or PAC. This makes sense as strategic decision-making at a global level can be difficult, something that also activists with experience in the global movement admit. However, much can be learned through participating in Red Umbrella Fund committees. Respondents in my study said they gained much knowledge and developed new skills as participants in the Fund’s decision making processes.

  • Safety and Security Concerns

The safety and security risks that many sex workers experience also affect their opportunities for participating in Red Umbrella Fund processes. Because sex work is criminalized and penalized in many places and levels of stigma and discrimination are high, not all sex worker rights activists are willing or able to come out publicly as a sex worker. Or to be potentially identified as such. It is likely to affect future job opportunities if they wish to switch careers. In some countries, children of sex workers are being refused access to schools. Migrant sex workers, particularly undocumented migrants, may opt to stay under the radar as much as possible. Although the Red Umbrella Fund respects the diverse realities of sex workers and understands that not everyone can always identify publicly as a sex worker, this can increase the threshold for some activists to engage.

  • Resource Limitations

Some of the aforementioned barriers can be addressed depending on the resources that the Red Umbrella Fund can make available to address them. There are ways to increase accessibility. For example, adding an extra language to the ISC is possible, but will increase costs and further complicate internal processes. As one respondent argued: “Every time, that requires a balance which is the ISC’s decision around how much money it is worth to have a process be more accessible, or be more participatory, or be more inclusive.”

Accessibility (i.e. mitigating or destroying the barriers) becomes a careful balancing act between allowing as many diverse participants as possible to engage and keeping the organization operational at the same time. It is a well-known dilemma for participatory initiatives. Especially for the Red Umbrella Fund, which aims to have at least 70% of its annual budget spent directly on grants. This means that its overhead and other costs have to remain low.

“I think the Red Umbrella Fund does what it does with the resources that it has, to the best of its ability.” (research respondent)

Inclusiveness

The different barriers described in this blog are a few selected broad categories and do not do justice to all the different challenges and problems faced by sex workers who want to participate in the Red Umbrella Fund’s processes. One so far unmentioned obstacle is the limited number of spaces available for people to participate. Many very relevant and qualified people have applied to join Red Umbrella Fund committees several times but have never yet been selected to join, which can also be frustrating and discouraging.

The diversity within the global movement leads to an unique situation for each and every single activist. But, as one of the respondents from the ISC highlighted:

“There is a big awareness [at the Red Umbrella Fund] of there being a diversity of sex workers and there is a big awareness of trying to be inclusive, and trying to pay attention to sex workers who aren’t usually included, or who aren’t usually heard.”

Overall, the people who have participated in the organization demonstrate strong support for its work and processes. On to the next five years!

 

Jurre Anema is a sociology student at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. As part of his master thesis he conducted research at the Red Umbrella Fund about their participatory processes. If you are interested in this study and want to receive more information or a copy of his thesis, please contact the Red Umbrella Fund at: info [at] Redumbrellafund [dot] org.

12 Jul

Not Bad Migrants

blog.nika2

The passport you hold determines a lot of your privileges, access and protection. I have always been able to benefit from a blue American passport— never being questioned while traveling, never having much difficulty obtaining a work or study visa abroad. My passport, white skin, and blonde hair provide me the privilege to exist and move through the world relatively freely. But in Eastern Europe, for example, a sex worker’s passport may determine whether she is – even with a legal residence permit – “targeted for rescue, detention and re-socialisation or deportation programs” by the government or NGOs.


Control

Last year I spent five months researching and writing a master’s thesis on human trafficking prevention campaigns and EU, Dutch, and UN human trafficking policies. I focused on migrant sex workers from Eastern Europe in the Netherlands. Much of the literature review included theories on state control of female sexuality, particularly the control of ‘foreign’ women by criminalising migration and victimizing migrant women sex workers.

This research, in addition to volunteering at the Red Umbrella Fund’s office in the Netherlands for the last eight months, has led me to think more about the status and labour conditions of Eastern European migrant workers, particularly sex workers, in the Netherlands. These experiences, including acquiring a Lithuanian passport for myself, have made me realize that our nationality, as well as our gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, and choice of work can greatly impact how we are perceived by the state. Whether we are feared or welcomed, and which rights we get access to.

Migrant Sex Workers in Europe

“There are stereotypes for instance— the hyper-sexualisation of women depending on [her country of origin]. This is also very harsh for us [sex workers], because when we travel from one country to another or go through airports, they assume we are sex workers just because we come from a specific country.”

–Pauline (Whores and Alliances) (link) referring to the abuse and discrimination black migrant sex workers face in Spain.

blog.nika

Red Edition, Austria

Migrant sex workers, depending on where they are from, what they look like, and which passport they hold, are treated differently by law enforcement, border control, and society. Migrant sex workers make up approximately 65% of the sex worker population in Western Europe and about 17% of the sex worker population in Central Europe (link). Migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers have been doing sex work as a means to sustain themselves and their families. The International Committee on the Rights of Sex workers in Europe (ICRSE) recently published a policy brief and recommendations on the rights of migrant sex workers. In this brief, ICRSE highlights that the criminalisation of migration and sex work is extremely problematic and dangerous for migrants and migrant sex workers.

“We want migrant sex workers to be seen and understood, to be acknowledged as migrant sex workers.” (link) -Kemal Ordek, Red Umbrella Turkey

Migrant labour

Structural, political, and economic changes in many regions of the world have led to an increase of migrants, particularly women migrants, seeking work in Europe. May this work be in factories or fields, in domestic or sex work, these are women who are working to support themselves and often times, their families. Migrant sex workers need to be included as part of the larger migration patterns and migrant labour movements, rather than how they are often perceived by the public, law enforcement, and media, as victims of human trafficking. The issue that remains is that sex work is not seen as work, but something that someone ‘must have been forced or tricked into’. So if this is the case, how can migrant sex workers, regardless of which passport they have, be seen as autonomous hard working individuals who moved in order to make a living?

TAMPEP, the European Network for HIV/STI Prevention and Health Promotion among Migrant Sex Workers, advocates for the human and civil rights of migrant sex workers in Europe. When sex work is criminalised and migration is increasingly controlled, migrants and migrant sex workers are forced even further underground. They can no longer trust the police or government officials, in fear of being arrested, detained, or deported. This is when migrants turn to third parties (i.e., friends, neighbours, family members, acquaintances, travel agents) to assist them in their migration process. This dependency and lack of ability or perceived ability to access justice increases the risk of exploitation.

How to become a trafficker

Unlike the UN’s Palermo Protocol (The UN’s human trafficking article) which clearly states that a human trafficking offense requires a form of coercion or deceit, the Dutch article 273F 1.3 essentially criminalises assisting a migrant in their journey to the Netherlands even without any coercion or deceit. Under this article, taking someone across the border to the Netherlands is enough to be considered human trafficking.

blog.nika2

SWARM, UK

Felicia Anna, a Romanian sex worker and blogger living and working in Amsterdam, discusses this issue in her blog Behind the Red Light District. Felicia Anna uses the following example to illustrate how damaging and infuriating this law is. Someone is driving through Germany heading to the Netherlands, and he or she sees a woman along the road who is looking for a ride to Amsterdam because she wants to work in the Red Light District. She’s alone, no one has deceived her of the work she will do there, or coerced her to go to Amsterdam. The driver agrees, since he or she is already heading to Amsterdam, and why not help a fellow passenger? Once they have crossed the Dutch border together, the driver of the car is a criminal according to Dutch law and the woman is a victim of human trafficking.

It is important to note that this law article only applies to individuals working in the sex industry, even though trafficking and labour exploitation clearly take place in other sectors too. This is one way the Dutch government has problematized migrant sex workers coming to the Netherlands to do sex work. But if the majority of sex workers in Western Europe are migrants, and many of them come from Eastern European countries, why criminalise someone assisting someone else who wants to do sex work in the Netherlands if it is legal for them to do so?

Demands

Based on their own research among migrant sex workers in Europe and Central Asia, ICRSE identifies the following key demands to policy makers:

  • Support the decriminalisation of sex work in order to ensure (undocumented) migrant sex workers’ access to health and justice.
  • Support migrants’ regularisation and an end of deportation of (undocumented) migrant sex workers.
  • Ensure that asylum seekers, refugees and (undocumented) migrants have access to welfare support to economic and employment opportunities.

Sex worker organizing

blog.nika3

SWARM, UK

Last October I was able to observe the Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting of the Red Umbrella Fund as a note taker. Each year, the PAC reviews the grant applications from sex worker groups all over the world and select new grants to be made. In last year’s selection process, the PAC members noted that there seemed to be quite a few new migrant sex worker groups applying for a grant. Migrant sex workers face discrimination on multiple fronts. They face challenges as sex workers and as migrants, and have unique needs to be met. But they are often not included in migrant organisations and not sufficiently included in most sex worker organisations either. This rise in migrant sex worker groups makes me hopeful in that migrant sex workers are increasingly organizing and making their demands heard. To policy makers, as well as the larger sex workers’ rights movements.

 

This blog was written by Nika Norvila, who supported the work of the Red Umbrella Fund as a volunteer for eight months in 2016 and 2017.

07 Jul

Hints for 2017 Applicants

RUF map umbrellas_2017

Dear sex worker friends,

[update: Please note that the 2017 call for applications is now closed. We are not accepting new applications anymore this year.]

The Red Umbrella Fund’s annual call for proposals is open.

If your group or network is sex worker led, recognises sex work as work, and is interested in building and strengthening the sex worker movement – you can apply for funding this year! If you are in doubt about any of these requirements, let us know.

All the information you need is available in our website, including the application forms and guidelines. There are two application forms available – one for groups, and one for networks.

The deadline for submitting applications is 28 July. You still have time to complete an application. And if you have submitted already and want to send an improved version of it, that’s fine too.

We suggest that you carefully read the guidelines we’ve put together. Below we will give you a brief overview and some hints about the process and how you can improve your chances of being selected.

Here is our brief advice:

  • If you have questions about your application, contact the secretariat for more information before 21 July. Don’t submit your application if you are not sure yet. We are glad to give you personalised feedback and advice.
  • Remember that sex workers from different parts of the world will be reviewing your application, so write this applications to your peers. Sex workers know the importance of your work, just remember to describe it really well.
  • Write the application in one of the four languages that we work with – English, Spanish, Russian or French. Applications in Portuguese will also be considered. If you can’t write in these languages, seek help from your community, allies or simply Google translate.
  • Remember that most sex workers reviewing your application are not from your country or region, so you might have to explain things that seem obvious to you!
  • When you select referees, choose people that actually know your group and that will give you a positive feedback. References help Programme Advisory Committee members to evaluate your work and make the best selection, so pick the right ones. Remember to inform your referees about your application and the need of responding to our request.
  • Carefully complete the application form and avoid contradictions. Make sure that the information provided is consistent and relevant for external readers. If it’s only relevant to you and sex workers from your group, explain why.
  • Remember to fill in all fields of the application form and include all the requested details. Groups often fail to explain the nuances of their organisational structures, for instance. Remember that sex workers in the peer review panel don’t expect you to run an NGO with many structures; what they want to know is how you organize your organisation and work and if your group has democratic processes in place.
  • Share your most relevant successes, those that really stand out. The competition is very high and you need to make a case for why those successes are relevant in your context, and how they relate to your vision and future plans.
  • Be clear about describing yourself as a local, national or regional organisation. That helps sex workers reading your application to understand the impact of the work you do. If you claim to be a national or regional organisation, clarify the national and regional scope of your work, membership, etc.
  • Be frank about your challenges and limitations. Sex workers from the Programme Advisory Committee may consider it important to fill in funding gaps and support your group based on your unique needs and challenges.

If you are tired of reading, meet Dennis & just listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duLsl4HqIdg

09 Jun

Call for Applications is now open!

LIZ
[update: Please note that the 2017 call for applications is now closed.
We are not accepting new applications anymore this year.]

Is your group, organisation or network led by sex workers?

Do you agree that sex work should be recognised as work?

Do you contribute to building and strengthening the sex workers’ rights movement(s)?

The Red Umbrella Fund gives grants to sex worker-led groups and networks that are registered or unregistered. In 2017, we expect to make about 25 core funding grants to local, national and international sex worker-led organisations and networks.

Apply for a grant here!

LIZimage by Liz Hilton

¡La nueva convocatoria global del Fondo Paraguas Rojo 2017 está abierta!

Haz clic aquí para Español.

Фонд «Красный Зонт» открыл прием заявок о соискании грантов на 2017 год!

Нажмите здесь для Pусский!

Notre 2017 Appel à Propositions est maintenant ouvert!

Cliquez ici pour l’application Français!

02 Jun

The Creation of the Red Umbrella Fund

RedUmbrellaFund History cover

Five years after itsstoryofredumbrellafund creation, the Red Umbrella Fund is proud to publish a part of its history. This report brings out the energy, commitment, and courage of the people involved in setting up this pioneering funding mechanism for sex workers. We have been eager to document this story to share our learning from this process with other activists and donors.

“We never thought this could be possible” – Ana Luz Mamani Silva, Mujeres del Sur

Starting with a meeting on sex work and trafficking in 2008, the story highlights  perspectives and experiences from sex workers and funders involved in the process up to 2012 when the Fund was officially launched.

Discover how the sex workers activists and funders overcame their differences, and worked to build common understanding and consensus. Find out what key ingredients to success have been identified.

“If you’re genuinely interested in supporting our rights, you should set up a fund where we set the priorities ourselves” – Ruth Morgan Thomas, NSWP

RedUmbrellaFund History cover

 

Download the report here

 

31 May

Programme Advisory Committee | Recruitment 2017

PAC 2016

What’s the PAC?

Each year, the Red IMG_4655Umbrella Fund publishes a Call for Applications. The Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) reviews the applications and advises the ISC about which new grants to make. PAC members read and score applications and select which applications should be funded by the Red Umbrella Fund. The PAC has 7 – 11 members, the majority (at least 80%) are sex workers. PAC members can stay on the PAC for up to 3 years. The Red Umbrella Fund is committed to have a PAC that is diverse in terms of gender and geography.

Who can apply?

The Red Umbrella Fund is looking for two sex workers or strong allies from:

  • US & Canada
  • Eastern Europe & Central Asia (except Turkey)

Important:

PAC membership is voluntary, unpaid and requires a high level of commitment. PAC members must be able to read 3 – 4 proposals each week during the review period. Positions for allies who are not sex workers are very limited on the PAC and relevant sex worker candidates will be prioritized over allies.

Minimum requirements:

  • Language: able to easily read and discuss funding proposals in English.
  • Availability: able to commit about 5 hours each week to review and score applications between 15 August and 30 September 2017 and to participate in the PAC meeting in Amsterdam (2 – 5 October). Travel and meeting costs will be covered.
  • Affiliation: be part of and/or endorsed by at least one sex worker-led group or network.
  • Internet: PAC participation requires regular email and some Skype contact.

What can you gain?

  • Participating in the PAC is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the Red Umbrella Fund’s grantmaking to sex worker groups around the world.
  • Red Umbrella Fund staff provide individual orientations to all new PAC members.
  • Learn about sex worker activism in different regions and work directly with other sex workers during a three-day meeting in Amsterdam. Many PAC members also find the experience useful for their own fundraising and activism. Feedback from PAC members’ experiences:

 “It’s been very exciting and rewarding to be part of this amazing project.”

“The PAC has given me an insight into other regions and contexts, and understanding of the global sex workers movement.”

“This process and PAC meeting really inspired me and gave me ideas for my organization.”

Read blogs authored by current PAC members HERE and HERE.

How can you apply?

  • Check if you meet all the requirements mentioned above.
  • Get an endorsement from your organisation.
  • Complete the self-nomination form HERE.
  • E-mail the form together with the endorsement letter to dennis@redumbrellafund.org by:
    9 July 2017.

Applicants will be informed of the final decision by 24 July 2017.

For more information go to: www.redumbrellafund.org
For questions, contact: dennis@redumbrellafund.org

15 May

Funders Need to Let Go

Dennis blog photo 2

“During the conference, it occurred to me that we do not need everyone to become a participatory grantmaker. It makes sense that some organisations may not fully be able commit to this ethos. Rather, what we need is to scale up participatory grantmaking.”

Dennis van Wanrooij, a Programme Associate at the Red Umbrella Fund attended the 2017 EDGE Funders Alliance annual conference in Barcelona. Dennis was enthusiastic to share information about participatory grantmaking and it turned out that many of the conference’s participants were eager to learn more about it!

Dennis blog photo 2

Dennis speaking the closing panel with Chris Stone (OSF) and Sarah Gunther (Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice)

 

Dennis emphasized the need for funders to let go, and to acknowledge the privilege funders have as funders.

“Let’s stop talking about the risks funders make when they cede power. What I want to talk about is the risks sex workers and other populations take when advocating for their rights in highly criminalized and hostile environments. The risks we take, as funders,  pale in comparison.”

dennis blog photo 1

PAC members and volunteer in 2013.

 

As a former member of the Red Umbrella Fund’s peer review panel and current staff member, Dennis has learned that participation is more than just making decisions about grants—it’s about re-thinking your role as a funder on a daily basis, and seeking community participation in all layers of work. In order to achieve a fully participatory process, funder need to partner with, support and learn with their grantees.

Read Dennis’ full blog post published in Alliance magazine here.

06 Mar

China: A Case Study of Sex Worker Organising

China sex worker organising case study

Sex work is illegal in China and it is difficult to effectively organise online due to censorship and repercussions. The large geographic distances in China make it difficult to come together in person. This is the Red Umbrella Fund’s third case study, highlighting the work of a sex worker-led organisation in China to improve access to health care and legal services for highly mobile cis men and trans women sex workers.

“People can come in and share. They have a sense of belonging. A sense of identity. We talk about their work and encourage them to share. So we have an environment of people talking with us.”

For the safety of all those involved in the work of this organisation and to avoid jeopardizing the organisation’s important work, the name and details have been anonymized in this case study.

“Academic partners are useful for their expertise in the theories and concepts surrounding sex work and gender. The group has always promoted sex work as work, but has more recently used academic theories gained from partnerships with researchers to improve their approach to advocacy.” 

Despite all the challenges and risks of organising in China, the group has managed to create a drop in centre specifically for cis men and trans women sex workers. This has created a sense of community and a safe space where sex workers can feel comfortable being themselves and where they are able to share experiences and exchange advice. News of the group has been spread by word of mouth through the networks of sex workers.

Read the full case study here.China sex worker organising case study

Read the second case study about APROSMIG in Brazil here.

Read the first case study about Sisonke in South Africa here.

 

23 Feb

APROSMIG: A Case Study

APROSMIG

[**Texto abaixo em português]

 “From community outreach to political action, the group has made great strides in empowering sex workers and decreasing violence against them.”

Sex workers in Brazil face high levels of stigma, systematic violence and abuse from the police. However, the group has developed a successful relationship with the military police of Minas Gerais which has resulted in a significant decrease in violence against sex workers in the area. This case study (the second in a series of three) is about APROSMIG (Associação das Prostitutas de Minas Gerais), a sex worker-led group in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

“APROSMIG provides legal counselling, promoting access to social benefits, and training participants to deal with situations such as arrest and violence from the police and clients. They have worked with the urbanisation company URBEL to include older sex workers in the social housing system. In workshops on entrepreneurship sex workers learn how to open  a business bank account and use debit and credit machines, which are much safer and help to avoid situations of violence with clients.”

APROSMIG has empowered sex workers through educational and cultural initiatives. The group provided English language classes for sex workers and developed a reference book (“Puta Livro”) for international clients during big international events in the country. APROSMIG organised marches and Daspu (from the whores) and Puta Dei events, demonstrating their pride and successful community building.

The Red Umbrella Fund was the group’s first international and institutional funder.

Read the full case study here [in English].

Read the full case study here [in Portuguese].

Read previous case study about Sisonke here [in English only].

******

APROSMIG: Um estudo de caso

“Da ação comunitária à ação política, o grupo fez grandes avanços na capacitação das profissionais do sexo e diminuição da violência contra elas”.

As profissionais do sexo, no Brasil, enfrentam altos níveis de estigma, violência sistemática e abuso da polícia. Contudo, o grupo desenvolveu um relação bem sucedida com a polícia militar de Minas Gerais, o que resultou em uma diminuição significativa na violência contra as profissionais do sexo na área. Este estudo de caso (o segundo de uma série de três) é sobre APROSMIG (Associação das Prostitutas de Minas Gerais), um grupo de profissionais do sexo de Belo Horizonte, Brasil.

 “A APROSMIG oferece consultoria jurídica, promovendo o acesso a benefícios sociais e capacitando as participantes a lidarem com situações tais como prisão ou violência cometida por policiais ou clientes. O grupo trabalhou com a empresa de urbanização URBEL para incluir profissionais do sexo mais velhas no seu sistema de habitação social. Workshops sobre empreendedorismo ensinam as profissionais do sexo a abrirem uma conta bancária comercial e como usar máquinas de cartão de crédito e débito, que são muito mais seguras do que dinheiro vivo e ajudam a evitar situações de violência com clientes.”

APROSMIG capacitou profissionais do sexo através de iniciativas educacionais e culturais. O grupo ofereceu aulas de inglês para profissionais do sexo e desenvolveu um livro de referência (“Puta Livro”) para clientes internacionais durante grandes eventos internacionais no país. APROSMIG organizou marchas e os eventos Daspu e Puta Dei, demonstrando orgulho e empoderamento da comunidade.

O Red Umbrella Fund foi o primeiro financiador internacional e institucional do grupo.

Leia o estudo de caso completo here[em português].

Leia o estudo de caso completo aqui [em inglês].

Leia o estudo de caso anterior sobre Sisonke aqui [em inglês apenas].

 

15 Feb

Sisonke: A Case Study

Sisonke_website

The Red Umbrella Fund developed three case studies to highlight successful stories of sex workers in their efforts to build strong sex worker movements in three different regions – Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“We are now able to take ownership and leadership of the things we do—to take a lead in everything that we do on our own. As our slogan says, ‘Nothing about Us, without Us.”

This first case study is about Sisonke, the national movement of sex workers in South Africa. This movement was established in 2003 as a response to injustice and to ensure sex workers’ access to health services and rights. Sex workers in this movement have come together to build strong and strategic alliances, and to change the legal framework of sex work in South Africa.

“Sisonke has complemented its advocacy work with creative campaigns and activities aimed at combating the stigmatization of sex workers in its communities… Sisonke has noticed a positive difference where they have a dialogue with the community members.”

Many sex worker organisations and movements face difficulties accessing funding for their human rights advocacy and capacity building work. When funding is available, it is often only provided for programs specifically targeting health and HIV. The Red Umbrella Fund gives core funding grants that allows grantees to decide how to spend the money. With this funding, Sisonke was able to strengthen and expand its organisational and advocacy activities in their  fight for decriminalisation of sex work in the country.

Read the full case study here.

21 Apr

为什么性工作应被除罪化?

Source: AMMAR

性工作(也就是许多人所认知的卖淫)是一个饱受争议的主题,而且这些争论往往与人口贩卖有关。在大部分的话语中,区分人口贩卖与性工作这两个概念的界限似乎已不复存在。

歧视、侮辱、暴力和疾病——这些是许多国家的性工作者经常要面对的问题。之所以如此,并非这些问题是他们的工作中不可避免的一部分,而是因为社会对他们加以谴责并视其工作为犯罪。

肯尼亚锡卡 (Thika) 有一名17岁的女孩,她因为从事性交易而被当地警方逮捕。女孩被关押在一间拘留室。该警局局长命令一名警员在第二天早晨把女孩送至他的处所。警局局长对她进行了多次强奸。每一次警局局长强奸完女孩以后,她才可以回到原来的拘留室。另外两名警官以同样的方式对女孩实施了强奸。最后,女孩才被释放。 Read More

08 Apr

我们真的在聆听吗?

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今年1月,全球妇女基金(GFW)联合南亚妇女基金(SAWF)在美国旧金山组织召开国际人权资助者小组会议(IHRFG),会议期间就反人口贩卖活动资助议题的讨论提出了几个重要问题,这些问题必须引起我们的资助机构重视。反对贩卖妇女全球联盟(GAATW)在其近期发布的最新研究报告中罗列了各种反人口贩卖活动资助及其资金去向。该项研究的结论中有一点最让我感到震惊,就是一方面有大笔资金流入了全球各项反人口贩卖活动,一方面是绝大多数人权资助者在该问题上的相对缺位、甚至不愿意参与,这就构成了一个悖论。这让我产生质疑:在设定资助对象优先顺序时我们到底在听谁的?

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17 Feb

为所有人决定还是由所有人决定?关于参与式资助的探讨

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 “一月份在旧金山举行的 国际人权基金组织International Human Rights Funders GroupIHRFG)大会的 关键主题是创新。在开幕大会上,演讲者们提到在拨款决策中社区加入和参与上的“创新”将成为一大主题,贯穿整个会议日程的各个环节。尽管迅速地受到关注, 但这些实践实际上并不是新事物。专题小组讨论会中提到:

“那么,为什么仍将参与式拨款作为创新呢?不就是一种经验常识吗?”

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29 Jan

Ohotu 的意思是爱

Pattoo Abraham

尼日利亚的性工作者运动是如何在暴力威胁下仍茁壮成长

根据尼日利亚的刑事条例,凡从事性工作必须受监禁,但同时政府又声称推广性工作者的教育与規代性就业。事实上,有65%的尼日利亚人生活在国际贫穷线标准之下,显示国内的工作机会大大不足。同时,性工作的刑事化也导致尼日利亚的性工作者沒有保障与基本权利,以至于时常受到警方的暴力对待,更有甚者国内的极端组织“博科圣地”(Boko Haram)也是散布恐惧与暴力的元凶。

“尽管遇到很多挑战,但我感谢上帝赐与我粮食。” – 尼日利亚的性工作者说道

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17 Dec

苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 又取得一个里程碑

走向结束对性工作者的暴力


在历史长达十六年苏格兰议会上,与以性工作者为主导的组织有关的法案首次得以讨论。在 2015 11 10 日,八位辩论员、三位苏格兰议员和五十多位其他感兴趣的活跃人士、选民和社区成员聚集在苏格兰议会,参加关于卖淫法变革(苏格兰)议案提案的公开会议。

parliament hearing_scotland2015

议员 Jean Urguhart 站在来自性工作者组织和大学的其他辩论员中。

在最近几年里,尝试将瑞典模式引入苏格兰已成为政局主流,主张将性工作者的客人定为犯罪,而不是性工作行为本身。目前对待性工作者的官方政府政策为“Safer Lives, Changed Lives”,将所有性工作视为针对妇女的暴力,无视所有妇女的位置。

合法但受限

在苏格兰,为了钱财的真实性交易是合法的,但拉客、开妓院和路边求欢属于刑事罪,导致卖淫不可能不违法。这些法律的执行形式使性工作者处于危险中,受到边缘化。Kate Hardy 是一位参加公开会议的辩论员和利兹大学的讲师,她回想起初次来到苏格兰时,发现这里的性工作者可能比之前研究过的任何其他地方都更加隐蔽和孤立。

提案的最终目标是通过废除禁止拉客、路边求欢和开妓院的法律,使性工作除罪化,开始以与其他劳动形式相同的方式规范性工作。最近在议会召开的公开会议是该流程的重要一步,是朝向结束围绕在性工作者的污名化的重要一步。

苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP)历史

苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP)  大约自 1989 年开始,由政府支持的地方卫生会资助,最初作为服务提供方。但是,直至组织失去政府资助,发展成为倡导组织这一新的身份后,才产生了最近的除罪化推动。在 2013 成功阻止最近一次对瑞典模式的引入后,新活跃分子的大量涌入使组织行动起来,成立了以其性工作者为领导的倡议小组,指导机构的决策。多年以来,其他人站在自己的立场上制订政策和法规,使性工作者无法表达自己的声音,一直损害工作者的利益,而作为最熟悉自己需求的专家,性工作者们自己本身是确定政策、弥补影响的最重要声音。

开始着手除罪化

苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 社運人士聚集到一起,明确表达组织的下一个目标:除罪化。甚至是对于机构理事会成员,当时除罪化也看似是一个不可能的目标。虽然如此,社運人士依然向红伞基金提交了方案,进行争取除罪化和挑战污名的公共运动、社区外展活动、社区研究和缔结联盟,所有这一切最终促成议案。

苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 随后召集了尽可能多的性工作者,促成“除罪化日”,讨论怎么样的除罪化议案。从那天起,所有活动将致力于这一中心目标。成功的成分是注重创建一系列基于证据的简报文件,确定苏格兰议会中的强大盟友(以 Jean Urquhart 的形式)来提供与议会系统的接触,激活同行和联盟的支持(包括 新西兰性工作者联盟英格兰娼妓共同体)。苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 理事会成员将议会会议描述为议会高墙内代表性工作者发出声音的标记,显示出公共感知和污名中的转换。从历史上看,这一污名本来是阻上苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 迈入这一门槛的首要原因。

法律对性工作者生活的影响

除罪化代表对性工作者的伤害减少。虽然社運人士承认,议案本身不会结束对性工作者的暴力和污名,他们也承认,当前围绕性工作者的定罪和法律体制对性工作者的健康和安全有害。禁止拉客和路边求欢的法律强迫性工作者在与客人讨价还价时少花时间,在远离警察的偏僻位置从事交易。甚至是为了安全而与其他人一起工作也遭到妓院法律禁止,其他法律也将通过性交易获得的收入来生活的亲属定为犯罪。在 2007 年路边求欢法律通过后,苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 确定对性工作者的暴力增长 95%。而且,由于担心被起诉或不受重视,性工作者变得极少报警求助。对性工作者的暴力侵害者清楚这些污名,知道性工作者是易伤害目标。

有趣的是,以前苏格兰议会的辩论员在公开会议上甚至极少提及性工作。他们确定性工作者生活中更紧迫的问题,例如,在财政紧缩措施造成的收益不断减少的情况下,她们无法找到可以支付账单的工作,无法抚养自己的孩子。来自英格兰娼妓共同体的 Niki Adams 指导关注与学生努力支付学校费用、单身母亲以及面对种族主义和其他雇佣形式歧视移民的相关政策,作为解决卖淫政策的关键。

是时候证据制定政策

以证据的研究已达成共识,除罪化是结束对性工作者暴力的合理步骤。认定性工作犯罪的法律结构对从事这一行业的人数几乎没有影响,而只是将性工作者驱散,使她们不被看见。这使得他们更难以获得医疗及其他服务。Nadine Stott 是一位辩论员兼苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 联执主席,主张创建法规,允许性工作者自行决定界定对性工作者的暴力,授权性工作者拥有对由性工作者自己设计的法律负责的经理人。除非实用的进步的,以性工作者为决策中心的程序的改革提议已被采纳,否则立法委员将是冒险去倡导政策,进一步边缘化性工作者这一最易伤害群体、增长对性工作者的暴力。

苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 在缔结联盟、干预法律流程和引起对苏格兰形势重视方面所做的努力已成为消除性工作者每天都面临的暴力的重要一步。

作者简介
Seth Lauer
是一名学生研究员,通过国际培训学校 (School of International Training) 2015 秋季海外学期作红伞基金志愿者。他研究和记录苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 志愿者的技巧、策略和体验,确定创建社会和法律变革的最有效倡导实践。他通过档案研究学习苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 的工作,参加会的公开会议,并在十一月与苏格兰性工作者教育项目 (SCOT-PEP) 委员会成员会面。他的论文将在完成后链接至此。

15 Dec

深情缅怀Elena Tsukerman

Elena close up

惊闻我们的同事、战友Elena Tsukerman (Lena)突然辞世,我们感到无比悲痛!在此,红雨伞基金向Lena的家人、朋友、同事和同仁致以衷心的慰问!Lena是一名能力突出、具有高度责任感的活动家,绝不轻言放弃。

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17 Apr

探索参与式拨款机制的运作方式及实施原因

IHRFG conference image2

2015128日,在国际人权资助者小组(IHRFG)三潘市会议上,由资助者组成的参与式拨款工作组第一次会议顺利召开。在会议召开之前,我们原以为仅有少部分有兴趣的基金会同行莅临参会,但出乎意料的是,整间会议室挤满了40位左右资助机构代表和慈善顾问。看来参与式拨款在美国西海岸正如火如荼地开展。 Read More