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Researchers & Students

“First things first: 9 times out of 10, when you approach a sex worker organization with the intent of studying them, you are not helping them. You are helping yourself. The completion of your research, alone, is not “helping” sex workers.”

SWOP receives many requests from researchers. We appreciate your interest and your desire to understand the work that we do, and the experiences of those who use our services. Objective, ethical and well-planned research into the NSW sex industry can indeed be useful to our work.

SWOP’s priority is improving the health of all sex workers in NSW, and improving the protection of their human rights. We are an under-resourced organisation with a finite capacity to achieve these goals. If you are a NSW sex worker doing research, please contact us. If you are not a sex worker, you will need to explain to us why we should take our time and staff resources away from sex workers, and put it towards you. Due to the sheer volume of researchers approaching SWOP, we are unable to grant all requests, even from those who have worked in the sex industry.

How to Proceed

Prior to anyone undertaking any research with, or supported by, SWOP, it is important that we are sure you understand the parameters under which we work and the wider implications of your potential research. It may be helpful for you to review SWOP’s mission and goals, available here on our website.

In your initial approach to SWOP we would appreciate you taking the time to answer the following questions:

    • What is the name of your institution or organisation?

    • What is the course level (year) and subject that you are conducting this research for?

    • Is your research supervised? If so, please provide the name and contact details of your supervisor.

    • What is the purpose of your research and how will the research be conducted. Does this research have ethics clearance from your institution/organisation and will copies of this approval be provided to SWOP?

    • What level of contact will you be requesting from SWOP staff and from NSW sex workers?

    • What steps will you take to protect sex workers? Consider how you might ensure that any sex workers you contact through SWOP will be protected from discrimination, stigma and other possible impacts of disclosure.

    • Please set out the benefits that you believe will be achieved for NSW sex workers and NSW sex worker health by your research, plus any detrimental impacts that your research could possibly have to NSW sex workers and NSW sex worker health.

    • Please supply a proposed timeline for your research.

    • How will your research findings be given back to SWOP and NSW sex workers?

Submit your responses to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your responses will be supplied to the SWOP CEO who may choose to arrange a meeting with you to discuss your proposal. Please ensure your research request is accompanied by appropriate contact details. SWOP needs to be selective about the research requests it engages with, so not all requests will result in a face-to-face meeting with the SWOP CEO.