ASWA and CHANGE analyse the effects of the U.S.A Supreme Court’s ruling -Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath (APLO) on sex workers.
ASWA and CHANGE- https://srhrforall.org had discussions yesterday about the, Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath (APLO). The anti-prostitution loyalty oath (APLO) is a provision in the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 (the Act) that requires all recipients of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funding to “have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution.”
The Act is a federal law that authorised billions of dollars to support both US and foreign non-governmental organisations to address the global HIV and AIDS epidemic through PEPFAR.
The Act contains two related limitations on federal funding:
• No funds “may be used to promote or advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution or sex trafficking.”
• No funds “may be used to provide assistance to any group or organisation that does not have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.”
PEPFAR has been reauthorised three times since it was created in 2003 and the APLO, or Prostitution Pledge, has been maintained in each of these laws.
The APLO was challenged in the Supreme Court in 2013 and again in 2020 and was held as an unconstitutional limit on free speech when applied to U.S.-based organisations.
Grace Kamau ASWA Regional Coordinator acknowledged that APLO hinders sex workers’ advocacy in the fight against H.I.V. She added that sex workers have also been denied PEPFAR Funding. She asked ‘’will we ever get to zero H.I.V infections’’. She also said that the violations of sex workers’ rights during the COVID-19 pandemic jeopardized sex workers’ lives.
She said that ASWA will prioritize documenting evidence to show how the punitive APLO has affected sex workers and service delivery. ASWA will develop a simple document on the APLO ruling for sex workers and engage the media to start advocating for change on the anti-prostitution law.
She called on the donors to support sex workers on human right violations and protections and also violence documentation.
Beirne Roose-Snyder ,Director of Public Policy, CHANGE said that APLO negatively impacts the delivery of essential services to sex workers.
Here is the full discussion.