Advocacy Tools

Resources that may be useful to members engaging in advocacy work. If you have suggestions for additional resources to include here, email them to

Amnesty International Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers (Amnesty International, 2016)

thumbnail of Amnesty policy announcement

Amnesty International is one of the largest human rights organisations in the world. This 17 page policy document is based on several years of research, consultations and new studies in four countries. It reaffirms that forced labour, violence and abuse should be criminal offences, and calls for the decriminalisation of all aspects of adult consensual sex work.

Advocacy Toolkit: The Real Impact of the Swedish Model on Sex Workers (NSWP, 2015)


This set of eight briefing papers from NSWP is a comprehensive, evidence-based analysis of the laws surrounding sex work in Sweden where the purchase of sex is criminalised. This legal model – variously known as the ‘Swedish’, ‘Nordic’ or ‘End  Demand’ model – is widely promoted around the world as effective in protecting women from violence and exploitation. This toolkit outlines the reality and the consequences of the law in terms of the safety and wellbeing of sex workers in Sweden, and highlights the harms associated with this approach of criminalisation.

Hands off our Clients! (ICRSE, 2016)

thumbnail image of front cover of report titled "Hands off our Clients!"

A 79-page advocacy guide from the European sex workers network ICRSE. The guide contains practical advice on how to challenge the so-called “Swedish” model of criminalising the clients of sex workers. Although written for a European context, much of the advice applies globally.



Unzipping CEDAW: A Guide to the Rights of Key Affected Women and Girls (Unzip the Lips, 2015)

front cover of the advocacy guide titled "Unzipping CEDAW"

This guide seeks to explain how to engage with the international Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which was passed in 1979. Historically, this convention has not been very helpful to sex workers or transgender people. However, society’s understanding of gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual rights and sex work has evolved over the years. CEDAW can be powerful tool to advocate for the health, economic, social and cultural rights of all women and girls, including sex workers and transgender people. This guide is produced by the Unzip the Lips platform, of which APNSW is a member.

Unzipping the Universal Periodic Review (Unzip the Lips, 2016)

image of the front cover of the report titled "Unzipping the Universal Periodic Review"The Universal Periodic review is a review process in which all member states of the United Nations take part every 4 to 5 years. Countries review each other’s progress on human rights in an effort to create meaningful change on the ground in terms of improving people’s human rights. This guide outlines how the UPR process works, and provides step by step actions community organisations can take to ensure that the human rights issues they face receive attention as part of the UPR. This guide is produced by the Unzip the Lips platform, of which APNSW is a member.

NSWP Consensus Statement On Sex Work, Human Rights, and the Law (NSWP, 2013)

consensus statement, thumbnail of front cover

The Consensus Statement is a tool for sex workers’ advocacy worldwide. It distills into a consensus the global demands of the sex worker rights movement. The Consensus Statement details eight fundamental rights that sex worker-led groups from around the world identify as crucial targets for their activism and advocacy. These eight rights, if fully realised, would be a huge step towards safeguarding sex workers’ human rights, labour rights, and health:

  1. The right to associate and organise;
  2. The right to be protected by the law;
  3. The right to be free from violence;
  4. The right to be free from discrimination;
  5. The right to privacy, and freedom from arbitrary interference;
  6. The right to health;
  7. The right to move and migrate; and
  8. The right to work and free choice of employment.

Art for Advocacy – “One Whore”

A parody of the famous painting "The Last Supper" with George W Bush and other politicians faces pasted into the picture in place of Jesus and his disciplesAPNSW’s karaoke advocacy video “One Whore”  parodies the U2 track “One” and addresses issues surrounding the time that  George W. Bush was President of the USA. In 2003, the administration of President Bush introduced the “Anti-prostitution Pledge” to both HIV/AIDS funding (PEPFAR) and anti-trafficking funding. The pledge required all non-governmental organizations receiving USAID funding, including those in the Asia and Pacific region, to adopt policies opposed to sex work.

Despite the US Supreme Court ruling the PEPFAR Anti-prostitution Pledge unconstitutional in 2013, the pledge still applies to international organisations. The pledge continues to be part of PEPFAR guidelines, and it is has not yet been challenged in the courts with respect to US anti-trafficking legislation. (See also the videos “Just Sign on The Dotted Line- The Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath” by US sex worker activist, performer and filmmaker Carol Leigh; and “Taking the Pledge” produced by NSWP.  And also, suggestions on how to campaign against the pledge from SWOP-USA in collaboration with other US sex worker rights organisations.)