Widespread criminalization of sex work has had the effect of undermining the sexual health of sex workers, for instance by preventing them from accessing health care services for fear of criminal prosecution if found to be a sex worker. Moreover, laws permitting mandatory HIV or STI testing of sex workers and mandating disclosure of private health information to employers sanction direct interference in the private lives of sex workers.
Media coverage of trafficking of women and children, migration and sex work is confused and inaccurate. Media wrongly uses the terms ‘sex work’ and ‘trafficking’ synonymously, perpetuating stereotypes and stigmatisation and contributing to the violation of women’s right to free movement and livelihood options, say these authors. If media reports were to be believed, there would be no young girls left in Nepal. Oftquoted figures such as 5,000-7,000 Nepali girls being trafficked across the border to India every year and 150,000-200,000 Nepali women and girls being trapped in brothels in various Indian cities, were first disseminated in 1986 and have remained unaltered over the next two decades. The report that first quoted these statistics was written by Dr I S Gilada of the Indian Health Association, Mumbai, and presented in a workshop in 1986. Subsequently, a version of this report was published as an article in the Times of India on January 2, 1989. The source of this figure remains a mystery to date. Unfortunately, such a lack of clarity is more the norm than the exception when it comes to reporting on trafficking in women and girls.
I. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe took note of this Explanatory Report at its 1002nd meeting held at its Deputies' level, on 12 July 2007. The Convention was opened for signature in Lanzarote (Spain), on 25 October 2007, on the occasion of the 28th Conference of European Ministers of Justice.
II. The text of this explanatory report does not constitute an instrument providing an authoritative interpretation of the Convention, although it might be of such a nature as to facilitate the application of the provisions contained therein.
The aim of the project was to examine the advisability of creating a new mechanism to address laws that discriminate against women. The terms of reference specified two key objectives. The first was to overview existing UN mechanisms to ascertain the extent to which they addressed the issue of discriminatory laws. This involved interviewing UN human rights and agency officials working in both Geneva and New York and also reviewing the reports and jurisprudence of human rights committees and special procedure mechanisms. The second was to try to get national data on laws that discriminate against women. This was to be done by means of a questionnaire. On the basis of the data gathered, the consultant was required to advise on whether a special mechanism addressing discriminatory laws was needed.
The member States of the Council of Europe and the other signatories hereto;
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members;
Considering that every child has the right to such measures of protection as are required by his or her status as a minor, on the part of his or her family, society and the State;
Observing that the sexual exploitation of children, in particular child pornography and prostitution, and all forms of sexual abuse of children, including acts which are committed abroad, are destructive to children’s health and psycho-social development;
Observing that the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children have grown to worrying proportions at both national and international level, in particular as regards the increased use by both children and perpetrators of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and that preventing and combating such sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children require international co-operation