Grantees 2013

All Red Umbrella Fund grantees (2013-2014) are introduced below.



African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA) – Kenya

This regional network unites sex workers’ groups from 11 countries and seeks to expand its membership to include all countries on the African continent. It provides strategic advice, networking opportunities, capacity-building tools and financial support to local sex workers’ groups that work to improve their access to health services and labour rights. Its membership includes groups working with women, men and trans sex workers. ASWA represents sex workers’ interest in regional and international processes and platforms.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €40,000


Engender Rights Centre for Justice (ERCJ) – Zambia

This group works to protect the rights and interests of sex workers through outreach and capacity building of sex workers of all genders in the capital city Lusaka and surroundings. Three out of four members of the group are HIV positive and one of the priority areas of the group is access to HIV pre- vention and treatment services for sex workers. The group also trains health care workers and police on the needs and rights of sex workers.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €12,500


HOYMAS (Health Options for Young Men on HIV / STIs) – Kenya

This organisation promotes the human rights of sex workers, including access to health services for male sex workers living with HIV in Kenya. It has a mem- bership of 1500 sex workers, and organises trainings for and by sex workers on health and human rights. The group sensitises health workers and government officials to the needs of male sex workers, and con- ducts media campaigns to influence decision makers to improve national laws, policies and practices that impact on sex workers’ lives.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €25,000


Tiyane Vavassate – Mozambique

Created in 2011, this emerging group brings together sex workers of all genders from three provinces of Mozambique to improve the human rights of sex workers, and end violence and dis- crimination. The group builds sex workers’ knowledge in areas of sexual and reproductive health and human rights, and trains them to become advocates for their own rights. With the Red Umbrella Fund grant, the group will develop its organisational structures and capacities.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €13,000


Women of Power Initiative (WOPI) –  Nigeria

This emerging group of sex workers includes many migrants in the capital city of Lagos. WOPI runs a nightly outreach programme, offering HIV testing and counselling services. The group also trains sex workers in leadership skills and builds their know- ledge on sexual and human rights advocacy as a strategy to counter violence and abuse.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €10,000

Asia and the Pacific


Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) – Thailand

This regional network unites 54 sex workers’ organisations in 22 countries with the aim to improve the health and rights of sex workers of all genders in the region. APNSW trains its members on human rights and advocacy strategies, and lobbies regional inter-governmental bodies and UN agencies for improved policies and programmes that affect sex workers. This grant enables the network to strengthen its organisational financial systems and skills to enable it to grow and increase its future fundraising opportunities.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €10,500


Hong Kong Transgender Migrant Service Workers Network (HKTGMSWN) – China

This emerging group in Hong Kong reaches out to migrant transgender sex workers with HIV and STI prevention information, legal support, and human rights capacity-building support, provided by peer educators. The group combats stigma and discrimination faced by transgender sex workers through public awareness campaigns. The ‘Don’t Cut my Hair Campaign’ addresses the humiliation faced by trans women in prisons in Hong Kong who are ordinarily placed in the men’s department and forced to cut their hair short.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €20,000


National Network of Sex Workers (NNSW) – India

This network of sex workers’ organisations and allies in the south of India lobbies for changes in laws and policies to improve the lives of sex workers. It has successfully campaigned to ensure that the in 2013 amended anti-rape law in India does not include prostitution as a form of exploita- tion. The Red Umbrella Fund grant will be used to strengthen the organisational structures and set up a sex worker-led governing board with skills to run the network.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €10,000


Pertubuhan Advokasi Masayrakat Terpinggir (PAMT) – Malaysia

Established in 2011, this organisation supports sex workers’ access to health care through peer education, condom distribution and referrals to health and social services. The group supports sex workers in setting up their own support groups, and aims to improve the living and working conditions of sex workers in the country. With the Red Umbrella Fund grant, PAMT will set up a crisis response team to support sex workers who face violence, exploitation, and arrest.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €20,000


Vietnam National Network of Sex Workers (VNSW) – Vietnam

This network unites female sex workers who are organised in peer support groups in 16 provinces. It aims to represent the voice of sex workers at the national level to improve laws, policies, and prac- tices that impact on sex workers’ lives. Sex workers benefit from the trainings in computer, fundraising and management skills organised by the network. Established in 2012, the network is developing its first strategic plan with support from the Red Umbrella Fund.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €20,000

Anonymous – China

This anonymous group in China and promotes access to health care and legal services for highly mobile male and trans sex workers by operating a drop-in centre and an emergency hotline. The group advocates for ending police violence such as arbitrary arrests, extortion, and harassment, by participating in seminars and debates around sex work.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €20,000

Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)


ICRSE (International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe) – The Netherlands

This network of individuals and organisations in Europe and Central Asia campaigns against the criminalisation of sex work, and the conflation of sex work and human trafficking. It serves as a plat- form to share experiences and solidarity, and to create alliances between sex workers’ rights organisations and allies from other movements who support sex workers’ rights. The Red Umbrella Fund grant will enable the network to hire a coordinator to strengthen the network and develop strategies to influence the European Parliament.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €40,000


Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association – Turkey

This group in Ankara documents violence and other human rights violations against sex workers and provides legal assistance to sex workers of all genders to seek justice. The data that is collected by the group is also used in public awareness raising activities targeting civil society, media and academia and in its lobbying with government officials to improve the legislation that affects sex workers in Turkey. The group also provides training for sex workers on human rights.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €10,000


SCOT-PEP – United Kingdom

Founded in 1989, this is the oldest organisation that is led by sex workers in Scotland. It cam- paigns for sex work to be recognised both socially and legally as work, and for sex workers’ voices to be included in public debates. SCOT-PEP lobbies the Scottish parliament for the decriminalisation of sex work and against the ‘Safer Lives, Changed Lives’ policy strategy which aims to eradicate vio- lence against women and defines sex work as exploitation, irrespective of the opinion of the women involved.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €13,500


Shakh Aiym – Kyrgyzstan

This emerging network aims to strengthen the voice of sex workers in public and policy debates in Kyrgyzstan by uniting sex workers from across the country. The network documents and speaks out against police violence. It also works to ensure that the existing law – which decriminalises sex work – is not undermined by new policies and programmes which are aimed at ending sex traf- ficking, which often have a negative effect on the rights of sex workers.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €15,000


STRASS (Syndicat du Travail Sexuel) – France

This national union represents the interests of sex workers of all genders and backgrounds, and from all branches of the sex industry in France through public education, advocacy and strategic litigation. The group campaigns for the legal recognition of sex work as work, and counters discrimination and stigmatisation with the aim to create an environ- ment of respect and inclusiveness towards sex workers. Self-organisation of sex workers is encouraged through the creation of local feder- ations in different cities.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €25,000


SWAN (Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network) – Hungary

This regional network unites sex workers and their allies from 18 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the struggle to promote the human rights and improve the quality of life of sex workers. It provides a joint advocacy platform for sex workers’ voices in regional and national debates on health, labour rights, and safety for sex workers of all genders and exposes violence against sex workers.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €15,500

Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish/Portuguese speaking)


APROSMIG (Associação das Prostitutas de Minas Gerais) – Brazil

This group reaches over 2000 women sex workers in the Brazilian state of Minais Gerais through lan- guage classes, condom distribution, HIV aware- ness messages, seminars, and public demonstra- tions to bring attention to the citizenship and rights of sex workers. This group organises special meet- ings for new sex workers as well as for older (50 plus) sex workers. The Red Umbrella Fund grant will contribute to strengthening the organisational capacities through regular meetings and trainings for its staff and members.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €20,000


Asociación de Mujeres ‘Las Golondrinas’ – Nicaragua

Founded in 2004, this organisation works with 12 local groups of female and trans sex workers in different municipalities in central and northern Nicaragua. The group uses mass media to promote labour rights of sex workers and address stigma and discrimination. The Red Umbrella Fund grant will contribute to core costs of the organisation and enable it to conduct trainings on sexual health and human rights for sex workers, and launch a campaign to end violence against sex workers.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €20,000


Davida – Brazil

This organisation focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention and improving the legal status and labour condi- tions of sex workers in the country. A draft bill to decriminalise and regulate sex work has been named in honour of the founder of the organi- sation, the late Gabriela Leite. In 2005, Davida launched the fashion line Daspu, which serves as an income-generating activity and also an advo- cacy strategy. Davida’s magazine, Beijo da Rua, reaches thousands of sex workers, allies and decision makers around the country.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €25,000


Fundación Margen – Chile

This group promotes the sexual and reproductive health, including HIV/AIDS, and human rights of women sex workers in Chile. The group reaches around 700 sex workers, most of them in the capital city, through outreach by peer educators, handing out condoms, accompanying sex workers to health centres, and informative workshops. The Red Umbrella Fund grant enables the group to build leadership and advocacy skills of sex workers in different parts of the country.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €15,000


Organización de Trabajadores del Sexo (OTS) – El Salvador

This group was created in 2004 by sex workers to confront and prevent the discrimination, abuse and violence experienced daily by sex workers at work, within their families, and in society in general by educating the general public about sex workers’ rights. The group reaches women sex workers working on the street and in parks with HIV prevention information and peer support. The Red Umbrella Fund grant will contribute to a field study of the needs of sex workers in 15 municipalities.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €16,000

North America and the Caribbean (English speaking)


Guyana Sex Work Coalition (GSWC) – Guyana

This group provides peer-to-peer support and training to sex workers in Guyana and the wider Caribbean region to build their knowledge and confidence to stand up for their rights, including the right to be protected from police violence, to access HIV/AIDS and other health services, and for their work to be recognised as work. The group trains health providers, police, and the military as a strategy to reduce stigma, discrimination and violence against sex workers.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €20,000


Projet L.U.N.E. – Canada

This organisation of sex workers operates in the city of Quebec. The group reaches mostly women sex workers who use drugs and those working on the streets with practical support and advice, including peer-led trainings about condom use, accessing health services, self-defence, and human rights. Through their journal “Les voix de la RuELLES” (The Voice of the Streets) sex workers are able to speak out and share their experiences and demands.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €16,500


Red Umbrella Project (RedUp) – USA

This New York-based group organises theatre, storytelling and memoir writing programmes in which sex workers of all genders share experiences with a wide audience to reduce stigma and fight discrimination. The group campaigns for improvements in legislation, such as the “No Condoms as Evidence” campaign, which aims to ban the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution-related offenses. The group builds the leadership skills and capacity of sex workers through trainings that enable them to run their own advocacy campaigns.
Red Umbrella Fund grant: €10,000