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Links to research regarding health inequalities for individuals in the sex industry, both physical and mental, and the barriers to access. If you would like to share research for this page please fill in the form on the 'Contact Us' page or email

Evidence or stereotype? Health inequalities and representations of sex workers in health publications in England

Nina Putnis, Jennifer Burr (2019)

The health of sex workers is considerably influenced by their position in society and by the marginalisation and stigmatisation they face worldwide. They are frequently criminalised and labelled as deviant, disordered or ‘vulnerable’: stereotypes that simplify and misrepresent their realities.

Link to article here.

Associations between sex work laws and sex workers’ health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of quantitative and qualitative studies

Lucy Platt; Pippa Grenfell; Rebecca Meiksin; Jocelyn Elmes; Susan G. Sherman; Teela Sanders; Peninah Mwangi; Anna-Louise Crag (2018)

Sex workers are at disproportionate risk of violence and sexual and emotional ill health, harms that have been linked to the criminalisation of sex work. Evidence was synthesised on the extent to which sex work laws and policing practices affect sex workers’ safety, health, and access to services, and the pathways through which these effects occur.

Access the article here.

Sex Work As Work - Policy Brief

Global Network of Sex Work Projects (nswp)

This global policy brief looks at sex work through a labour framework, and advocates for the recognition of sex work as work. This policy brief outlines the benefits of looking at sex work through a labour approach.

Download it here.

Sex Workers’ Access to Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

Global Network of Sex Work Projects (nswp)

Access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services – from STI prevention to post-natal care – is an essential component of a human rights-based health approach. However, public health programmes and policymakers have seldom addressed the comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of sex workers.

Read the briefing paper here.


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