16 Jun

Call for Grant Applications is Now OPEN!

Our 2022 Call for Grant Applications is Now OPEN!

Sex worker-led organisations and networks from anywhere in the world are eligible.

To improve digital security all applications must be submitted online only

Accepting applications from 17 June to 24 July 2022.

To apply please review our 2022 Applications Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions available at https://www.redumbrellafund.org/grantmaking/apply-grant/

08 Jun

Application Q & A –

Red Umbrella Fund Secretariat will be available to answer questions about the application process:

Registration closes 2 hours before each session. All sessions will be recorded!

Check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) here.

You can also take a look at our presentation or instruction video on this from last year.

Any additional questions can be submitted to applications@redumbrellafund.org.

06 Apr

Our 2022 Call for Applications will be open 17 June to 24 July!

Our 2022 Call for Applications will be open 17 June through 24 July 2022!

In the coming weeks we will be working to update and finalise our 2022 Applications and Guidelines so that they are available to download and work offline.

Our funding criteria and priorities remain the same, however our procedures have been updated to improve accessibility, security and safety of our applicants.

For security purposes we will only accept applications through our online system.

Question? Check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) here.
You can also take a look at our 2021 FAQ presentation or instruction video.
You can also contact us at: applications@redumbrellafund.org

Looking forward to this year’s applications supporting the Programme Advisory Committee as they make the 2022 grantmaking decisions!

04 Mar

Programme Advisory Committee Members Recruitment

Update: The 2022 ISC has approved the stipend schedule for the 2022 PAC meeting. All PAC members will be compensated on a sliding scale (€1250-1700) depending on how many applications each PAC member scores.

The deadline to apply has been extended – applications submitted before 9:00 am CET (Amsterdam) Tuesday 12 April will be considered.

About Red Umbrella Fund
Red Umbrella Fund is the first and only global fund by and for sex workers. We publish one Call for Applications each year. Since 2012, Red Umbrella Fund has made 247 grants to sex worker-led groups and networks representing a total of 6,586,000 EUR.

Who makes what decisions? Red Umbrella Fund is guided by an International Steering Committee (ISC) made up of sex workers and donors. The ISC decides the grantmaking criteria, approves the annual budget and makes other strategic decisions. The Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) advises the ISC about which new grants to make. Day-to-day work is done by a small Secretariat team of four staff.

What do PAC members do? PAC members read and score the applications and select which applications should be funded by Red Umbrella Fund. PAC members can stay on the PAC for up to 3 years.

Who are on the PAC? The PAC has up to 11 members, always with a large majority (at least 80%) of sex workers. Red Umbrella Fund wants a PAC that is diverse in terms of gender and geography.

Who can apply?
Red Umbrella Fund is looking for five sex workers or strong allies from somewhere in:

North America & non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean – with a preference for candidates from non-Spanish-speaking Caribbean

Europe and Central Asia – with a preference for candidates in Western Europe

Asia and the Pacific

Latin America and Spanish-speaking Caribbean

Anywhere in the world with a global understanding of the sex workers’ rights movement

Minimum requirements:
Language: able to read and discuss funding proposals in English.
Availability: able to commit 5-10 hours each week between August and October 2022 to review applications and to participate in PAC meetings .
Affiliation: be part of and/or endorsed by one sex worker-led group or network.
Internet & Laptop: regular access to email and stable internet connection.

Important:
PAC membership requires a high level of commitment. PAC members must be able to read about 5 to 10 proposals each week during the review period.
Exceptionally PAC Members will be compensated in 2022 as there will be no in-person meeting.
Positions for allies are limited on the PAC and relevant sex worker candidates will be prioritised.

What can you gain?
The PAC is an exciting and meaningful opportunity to contribute to Red Umbrella Fund’s grantmaking to sex worker groups around the world.
As PAC member you learn more about sex worker activism in different regions.
Many PAC members find the experience useful for their knowledge about philanthropy and activism.

How can you apply?
E-mail the completed self-nomination form together with a support letter to: info@redumbrellafund.org by 9:00 am CST (Amsterdam) Tuesday, 12 April 2022.

01 Sep

International Steering Commitee Members Recruitment

Red Umbrella Fund is the first-ever global grantmaking collaborative guided by and for sex workers. Red Umbrella Fund is guided by an International Steering Committee (ISC) made up of sex workers and donors. The ISC decides the grantmaking criteria, approves the annual budget and makes other strategic decisions. The Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) advises the ISC about which new grants to make. PAC members read and score the applications and select which applications should be funded by Red Umbrella Fund. ISC members can stay on the ISC for up to 3 years.

The ISC has up to 11 members from different parts of the world. The ISC strives for diversity in its membership including in relation to geography, language, gender, areas of expertise, and affiliations. Red Umbrella Fund is looking for three committed sex workers’ rights activists who identify as current or former sex workers and are part of a sex worker-led organisation based in:

– a high-income country (Canada, United States of America, WesternEurope, Australia, New Zealand)
Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA),
– a non-Spanish-speaking country in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Important:
ISC membership is voluntary, unpaid and requires a high level of commitment. ISC members must be able to volunteer several hours per week for ISC discussions and responsibilities at different times of the year.
Candidates must be interested and available to commit to actively participate in the ISC for at least three years. Membership can be renewed once for another three years.
ISC members must have regular e-mail access and availability to attend ISC meetings (by phone, WhatsApp or Skype) and at least one international meeting per year.

What do we offer?
A unique opportunity to contribute to the only global funder led by the community that specifically focuses on supporting the sex workers’ rights movements!
Direct contact with peer sex workers’ rights activists and allied funders.
Translation support in ISC members for up to three languages.
ISC membership is a voluntary (unpaid) position but costs of participating in meetings are covered.

To apply, please send the self-nomination form filled in in English, French, Russian or Spanish with a support letter to info@redumbrellafund.org by 21 October 2021.
We look forward to hearing from you!

Please find more information on the self-nomination form.
In case of any question please email to info@redumbrellafund.org.

21 Jun

Call for Grant Applications is Now OPEN!

Our 2021 Call for Grant Applications is Now OPEN! Sex worker-led organisations and networks from anywhere in the world are eligible.

To improve digital security all applications must be submitted online only

Accepting applications from 22 June to 1 August 2021.

To apply please review our 2021 Applications Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions available at https://www.redumbrellafund.org/grantmaking/apply-grant/

02 Jun

International Sex Workers’ Day 2021 – CEDAW Statement

To the CEDAW Committee: Sex work is work. It is not trafficking.

On 02 June, International Sex Workers’ Day, the Count Me In! Consortium stands in solidarity with sex worker-led organisations and networks advocating for sex workers’ rights

and condemns the discriminatory and potentially harmful measures proposed in CEDAW’s General Recommendation 38.

Sex workers’ rights are central to human rights – particularly women’s rights – and for achieving gender equality. Yet, there continues to be disagreement about how best to ensure that sex workers are free from violence and discrimination. The recent CEDAW General Recommendation 38 on trafficking in women and girls in the context of migration adds to misunderstanding of the distinction between sex work and trafficking and may increase discrimination against sex workers.

Our critique of the General Recommendation is wide-ranging. Expressing disappointment in the General Recommendation, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) highlighted the failure of the General Recommendation to distinguish between trafficking, sexual exploitation, and sex work. They note: “By habitually linking these three distinct phenomena, along with the poorly defined concept of “the exploitation of prostitution1,” this General Recommendation reinforces erroneous conflations of sex work and trafficking which fuel harmful legislation, policies and practices, including an overly broad application of anti-trafficking measures.” Noting how anti- trafficking laws and policies frequently cause harm to sex workers and result in human rights violations, Amnesty International noted that “The general recommendation has not only failed to adequately address this, but risks writing this harsh reality further into the normative framework governing trafficking.2” The wide-ranging and detailed critique of the General Recommendation by International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP) noted that the problems in the General Recommendation range from start to finish. They identify challenges even at the level of the legal framework upon which it relies, commenting on its regressiveness because “it not only situates the legal basis of the GR (General Recommendation) in the anti-human-rights, racist, colonial, patriarchal and archaic 1949 Convention on Trafficking, but also vitiates 51 years of progress on legal standard setting on trafficking achieved by the Palermo Protocol which, despite its shortcomings, recognises that trafficking occurs for a wide variety of purposes not limited to exploitation of prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation.3

Inequality, discrimination and violence targeted toward sex workers of all genders is sustained through laws, policies and practices that criminalize some or all aspects of sex work4. All too frequently, anti-trafficking laws and policies directly and indirectly result in real harms for sex workers and individuals perceived to be sex workers5. While we commend and appreciate the efforts being advanced in trying to curb trafficking, such broad legislative and normative frameworks seldom address the structural root causes of trafficking but rather perpetuates the invisible networks that structurally exclude sex workers. Understanding the difference between sex work and trafficking is an essential step for effective anti-trafficking campaigns that both address trafficking and respect and safeguard sex workers’ rights.

  • The difference between sex work and trafficking
    Worldwide, sex workers and sex workers’ rights advocates contend that as consenting adults, sex workers choose to sell sexual services. Sex work is work, and not a ‘social’ or ‘psychological’ condition that requires solving. Rather, it is the conditions resulting from stigma and criminalisation of sex work – not the work itself – that can be exploitative. The risks faced by sex workers are created by punitive laws, policies and practices creating unequal power relationship between ill-intentioned clients, law enforcement or third parties (such as brothel-keepers, managers or anyone else who facilitates sex work) on one side, and sex workers on the other.

Understanding the difference between sex work and trafficking6 is an essential step for effective anti-trafficking campaigns that both address trafficking and respect sex workers’ rights. Evidence confirms that poorly designed anti-trafficking interventions, such as those elements suggested by General Recommendation 38 inaccurately portray sex workers as inevitable victims and add to the stigma attached to sex work7. Indeed, such laws often miss actual trafficking victims who urgently require assistance. Resources are focused on “rescuing” sex workers who do not seek interventions or rescue instead of rights-based funding. An overemphasis on trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation also means less attention is paid to other sectors where trafficking is prevalent – such as the labour or domestic work sector. Finally, such misguided laws and policies discourage sex workers and clients from seeking access to health, justice and reporting abuse in the sex industry or incidences of trafficking because of fears of arrest, persecution or “rescue”.

Bringing about social justice in relation to sex work requires that sex work is regarded as work and legally recognised as such. This means repealing the civil and criminal laws that are used to sanction sex work or penalise sex workers. It means bringing sex work under appropriate labour frameworks. It also requires an intersectional lens and incremental approach that challenges stigma as well as social, political and economic exclusion. This will help ensure that sex work is approached in a rights-based manner, make the sex work context safer, increase sex workers’ access to services and the protection of the law, while affirming sex workers’ dignity and rights.8

Sex work is work. It is not trafficking.

Count Me In! is a special joint initiative led by Mama Cash, including the sex worker-led Red Umbrella Fund (RUF), together with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), CREA, Just Associates (JASS) and Urgent Action Fund – Africa (representing its sister funds in the US and Latin America). The Dutch gender platform WO=MEN is a strategic partner for lobbying and advocacy. 

 

1) See NSWP’s Statement on CEDAW committee general recommendation no. 38 accessible at https://www.nswp.org/resource/nswp- statements/nswp-statement-cedaw-committee-general-recommendatio-no-38-2020
2) See Amnesty International’s Research on the CEDAW Committee New General Recommendation on Human Trafficking accessible at https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/ior40/3755/2021/en/
3) See IWRAW Asia Pacifc’s Thematic Paper on A Critique of CEDAW General Recommendation No. 38 accessible at https://www.iwraw-ap.org/resources/critique-of-cedaw-gr38/
4) See CMI!’s Factsheet on Sex Work and the Law accessible https://www.mamacash.org/en/counting-sex-workers-in-campaign
5) See NSWP’s Policy Brief on The Impact of Anti-Trafficking Legislation and Initiatives on Sex Workers accessible at https://www.nswp.org/resource/nswp-policy-briefs/policy-brief-the-impact-anti-trafficking-legislation-and-initiatives-sex
6) Please see CMI fact sheet on sex work and trafficking at https://www.mamacash.org/media/cmi_/factsheets/cmi_trafficking_final.pdf
7) See GAATW’s report on Sex Workers Organising for Change accessible at https://www.gaatw.org/resources/publications/941-sex- workers-organising-for-change
8) See CMI fact sheet on sex work and the law at https://www.mamacash.org/media/cmi_/factsheets/cmi_law_final.pdf

10 May

Programme Advisory Committee Members Recruitment

Red Umbrella Fund is the first-ever global grantmaking collaborative guided by and for sex workers. Red Umbrella Fund is guided by an International Steering Committee (ISC) made up of sex workers and donors. The ISC decides the grantmaking criteria, approves the annual budget and makes other strategic decisions. The Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) advises the ISC about which new grants to make. PAC members read and score the applications and select which applications should be funded by Red Umbrella Fund. PAC members can stay on the PAC for up to 3 years.

The PAC has up to 11 members, always with a large majority (at least 80%) of sex workers. Red Umbrella Fund wants a PAC that is diverse in terms of gender and geography. Red Umbrella Fund is looking for two sex workers or strong allies from somewhere in:
– North America (Canada & United States of America)
– Central Europe and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA)

The minimum requirements necessary to apply to be a PAC Member are:
Language: able to read and discuss funding proposals in English.
Availability: able to commit 5-10 hours each week between 02 August and 15 October 2021 to review applications and to participate in PAC meetings .
Affiliation: be part of and/or endorsed by one sex worker-led group or network.
Internet: regular email and stable internet connection.

What can you gain?
• The PAC is an exciting and meaningful opportunity to contribute to Red Umbrella Fund’s grantmaking to sex worker groups around the world.
• As PAC member you learn more about sex worker activism in different regions.
• Many PAC members find the experience useful for their knowledge about philanthropy and activism.

To apply, please send the self-nomination form filled in in English with a support letter to info@redumbrellafund.org by 10 June 2021.
We look forward to hearing from you!

Please find more information on the self-nomination form.
In case of any question please email to info@redumbrellafund.org

03 Mar

Diving Deeper: Under the surface of LGBTI Sex Workers funding data – Global Resources Report (GRR) Factsheet

This factsheet aims to summarize and compile information on funding focused on LGBTQI sex workers from the 2017–2018 Global Resources Report: Government and Philanthropic Support for LGBTI Communities published in May 2020 by Global Philanthropy Project (GPP).

Additionally, this factsheet provides recommendations to funders interested in supporting sex workers within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities and shares resources for further learning. Reviewing data for 2017–2018, the most recent available, we see that in all regions and in a global analysis funding focused on LGBTQI sex workers as a population has not matched the growth in overall LGBTQI funding and in some regions has decreased over time.

Why Dive Deeper?
The biennial Global Resources Report contains over 125 pages of data and analysis, yet there are many more ways to assess and engage with the information collected by Funders for LGBTQI Issues and Global Philanthropy Project.
This year, for the first time, GPP is sharing a series of “Diving Deeper” briefs and this factsheet to explore a number of new analyses using the GRR data set. In 2022 we move towards developing and publishing our next iteration of the Global Resources Report.

Why this factsheet?
Sex workers exist across diverse genders, sex characteristics, sexual orientations, and lived experience including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex sex workers. The development of this factsheet began in late 2020 – a year after ILGA World passed a resolution opposing all forms of criminalization and legal oppression of sex work. At the same time, the Trans Day of Remembrance reminded us that between January 2018 and September 2020, 60% of the 3,664 trans and gender diverse individuals murdered whose occupation is known were sex workers.

While there have been some increases in funding for LGBTQI sex workers over time, there is great work ahead to come closer to meeting community needs or move towards funding equity.

This factsheet was co-created by Global Philanthropy Project, Red Umbrella Fund, Funders for LGBTQ issues, and the Sex Work Donor Collaborative.