Announcing the Sex Worker Freedom Festival

Blog18 April 2012 by Amy Coulterman[PDF][print]



Sex Worker Freedom Festival: the Alternative International AIDS Conference 2012 event for Sex Workers and Allies

21 to 27 July 2012 | Swabhumi, Kolkata, India

US government travel restrictions for sex workers mean that many of us will not be able, or will not want to go to the IAC in Washington this year. The Sex Worker Freedom Festival is an alternative event for sex workers and our allies to protest our exclusion and ensure the voices of those excluded are heard in Washington.

The festival programme will focus on freedoms that we are all entitled to:

  • Freedom of movement and to migrate;
  • Freedom to access quality health services;
  • Freedom to work and choose occupation;
  • Freedom to associate and unionise;
  • Freedom to be protected by the law;
  • Freedom from abuse and violence; and
  • Freedom from stigma and discrimination.

Working with 9.5 hour time difference between Kolkata & Washington

Kolkata programming will start at 12.30 and run through to 22.30 to provide a 5 hour overlap with conference sessions and Global Village activities in Washington.  We will have video linking between Kolkata and Washington conference sessions and the Global Village.

Registration for the Sex Worker Freedom Festival will open on 2 April 2012 and close on 30 June 2012. Registration forms will be available on the NSWP website at http://www.nswp.org/page/iac-2012-kolkata.

Sex Workers: FREE

Organisations with budget less than $250,000: $100

Organisations with budget more than $250,000: $500

The call for activity proposals (policy discussions, workshops, presentations, cultural activities, etc) during the Sex Worker Freedom Festival will open on 2 April 2012 – sex workers submitting an activity proposal will also be able to apply for an NSWP scholarship to support their participation. The registration, proposal submission and scholarship application form will be available on the NSWP website. DEADLINE for proposals and scholarship applications is 13 May 2012.

There are a limited number of scholarships available so please contact your donors to ask them to support your participation.

Sex workers who have abstracts accepted for the IAC 2012 should contact the conference organisers if you want to present your abstract in Kolkata, IAC abstract scholarships awarded will be transferable to Kolkata. So remember to request a transfer to Kolkata when you reply to abstract acceptances or scholarship offers if you want to be part of the Sex Worker Freedom Festival.

The Sex Worker Freedom Festival is an Official International AIDS Conference 2012 Hub. Supported by Open Society Foundation – Sexual Health and Rights Program, UNAIDS, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNFPA, HIVOS, AIDS Fonds and AIDS 2012 conference secretariat.

Representing Civil Society on the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board