Three reports released in 2012 document the harms caused by the use of condoms as evidence in multiple cities and countries.
On Thursday, July 19th, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH released a report entitled “Sex Workers at Risk: Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution in Four US Cities,” about the harms caused by this practice in 4 major U.S. cities. The report reveals that efforts to take condoms in multiple U.S. cities negatively impact the health of sex workers and transgender women, and furthermore undermine public health campaigns for HIV prevention. Read more about the HRW report here.
On Tuesday, July 17th, OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS released a report entitled “Criminalizing Condoms,” about the use of condoms as a means to target sex workers in six different countries. This report reveals that the “treatment of condoms as contraband forces sex workers to make a choice between safeguarding their health and staying safe from police harassment or arrest” by documenting law enforcement practices and the resulting harms for sex workers in Kenya, Namibia, Russia, South Africa, the United States and Zimbabwe. Read more about the OSF report here.
On Tuesday, April 17th, as part of lobbying efforts, New York advocates released a brand new report summarizing the results of two studies documenting the impacts of police confiscating and prosecutors introducing condoms as evidence of intent to engage in prostitution! The report, Public Health Crisis: The Impact of Using Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution in New York City, was co-authored by members of the PROS Network, a coalition of organizations providing services and resources to people who are or are perceived to be involved in the sex trades.
This New York City-based research revealed that:
- Close to half of people surveyed had had condoms taken away from them by a police officer;
- Close to half of people surveyed had at some point NOT carried condoms for fear of police harassment or arrest.
The practice of confiscating and using condoms as evidence of intent to engage in prostitution is undermining New York City and New York State public health intiatives handing out millions of free condoms every year to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, STIs, and unwanted pregnancies.