Media Coverage

A selection of  media coverage by or featuring APNSW members is listed below. This page is a work-in-progress and we will add a wider range of coverage.

If you have suggestions of articles to include on this page send us links through Facebook or Twitter, or email them to us: web AT

The Wireless, 2 June 2016, “The problems we face are tied to stigma

thumbnail of wireless article headline: the problems we face are tied to stigma

To mark International Sex Workers Day, a sex worker in New Zealand writes in the The Wireless – a website of Radio New Zealand – that sex work isn’t just about women’s bodies.

One particular myth is that only women do sex work, and only female sex workers are in vulnerable, exploited situations. There are also many male workers, transgender workers, and gender-fluid workers. When talking about the sex industry, it’s vital to complicate the picture. To avoid reducing it to discussion about women’s bodies.

openDemocracy, 7 March 2016, “We don’t do sex work because we are poor, we do sex work to end our poverty”

open democracy article featuring Empower

Empower Foundation write about the advantages of sex work in the “Beyond Trafficking and Slavery” section of openDemocracy – an independent global media platform. Alongside other articles that criticise current approaches to trafficking, Empower challenges common portrayals of sex workers as weak victims and calls for recognition of sex workers’ skills and expertise and sex workers’ roles as activists, leaders, workers, and providers,

Many Thai women become sex workers not because they are poor, but in order to escape poverty. In doing so they have become providers and heads of households, and they deserve respect for that accomplishment.

The Guardian, 17 December 2015, “Private arts: Bangkok museum celebrates Thai sex industry and its workers


Marking International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, this feature article goes on a tour of “This Is Us”- the Empower museum in Bangkok – and interviews Chantawipa Apisuk the founder of Empower. The museum documents the history of selling sexual services in Thailand over 400 years, and the ongoing struggle for sex workers’ rights.

At the door to the museum, sewing machines sit discarded, the rejected relics of multiple aid projects to teach textile skills to sex workers to get them to change their profession. “No more sewing machines!” a sign reads.

Broadly, 19 October 2015, “The Thai Women Behind the First Bar Run Entirely by a Sex Workers’ Collective


This article interviews several sex workers from Thai sex worker rights organisation and APNSW member, Empower. The Can Do Bar in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, is owned and run by sex workers in line with Thai labour laws. There are no salary deductions, there is a safe and healthy workplace, paid sick leave and access to the social security scheme.

many people are still unwilling to listen to sex workers. But the women at Empower are resourceful, tenacious and determined to change this by continually finding new ways to communicate their message, until eventually they are heard.”

The Guardian, 18 August 2015, “As sex workers we welcome Amnesty’s policy – it will help empower us”


APNSW Regional Coordinator, Kay Thi Win, writes in the Guardian’s section on Global development, Women’s rights and gender equality, following Amnesty International’s historic decision to adopt a policy recommending decriminalisation of sex work.

Why are so many people quick to judge sex workers as either victims needing to be rescued or criminals needing to be stopped, but so slow to listen to what we have to say?

The Diplomat, 18 Dec 2013, “Myanmar’s ‘Big Sister’ Leads in HIV Fight”

screen shot of The Diplomat featuring article about AMA

An article featuring the success of sex worker-led HIV prevention in Myanmar that reduced HIV prevalence among sex workers from 40% in 2005, down to less that 10% in 2013. The article also profiles Aye Myanmar Association and the work of Kay Thi Win before becoming APNSW Regional Coordinator.

Myanmar allowed sex worker-run programs to organize and scale up over the last eight years using an empowerment-based model, rather than a coercive testing model … The success of the program … shows investing in sex worker-run programming works,” Andrew Hunter

new internationalist, issue 252 – February 1994, “The Healthy Hooker

NZPC poster saying "We are professional about preventing Aids, are you?"

Catherine Healy and Anna Reed from NZPC write in “new internationalist” magazine on the positive role sex workers in New Zealand play in promoting safer sex practices. They note how, despite this positive role, sex workers are still considered a source of disease and highlight the role of the media in perpetuating this stereotype. They summarise the experience of sex workers around the world including the impact of criminalisation of their work and conclude by looking forward to the day when the word ‘prostitute’ is replaced with the phrase ‘safe sex educator.’