Pernambuco Sex Professionals Association – APPS

Sex Professionals in Defense of their Rights


Objectives and target audience

The project’s aim is to strengthen the campaign for recognition of sex professionals’ rights in Pernambuco and to stimulate dialog with public authorities and society about public safety apparatus operations during the 2014 World Cup. The Pernambuco Sex Professionals Association (APPS) will hold events in prostitution areas Recife, Olinda and Camaragibe to speak with prostitutes about their social security rights and assistance alternatives in case they are victims of violence by police or customers.

The initiative also seeks to coordinate with the Social Defense Secretary, Secretary of Women, Paraíba Secretary of Human Rights and Public Prosecutor to do training together with the military and civil police forces on the human rights of sex professionals.

Main activities

– Creating the project logo to use in informational folders, cards and banners about the World Cup and prostitution, social security rights, where to ask for help after any police/customer violence and the importance of building a class-conscious entity.

– Holding peer-educator workshops with 25 women from prostitution areas on human rights, the value of racial identity and the incidence of HIV/AIDS in women.

– Monitoring the police treatment of prostitution areas.


Although prostitution is not a crime in the country, the profession still isn’t legal, which generates various stigmas related to sexual exploitation, human trafficking and the association of prostitution with criminality.

Institutional violence is part of the daily life of these predominately poor and black women. The police apparatus, which should enforce safety, instead threatens them in situations involving theft, robbery and aggressions. With the coming World Cup in Recife, a process of removing prostitutes, transvestites, transsexuals and street dwellers has begun, aggravating the rate of violence and disrespect toward the rights of these women.

About the organization

APPS is a non-profit, class-conscious organization founded in 2002 with the aim of representing sex workers in the state of Pernambuco, campaigning for recognition of prostitution as a right and promoting its legalization. Since its foundation, the organization has been active in the spheres of health care, education and culture, promoting the human rights of sex professionals, and fighting against prejudice and discrimination.


APPS is a part of the Brazilian Prostitute Network, Sex Workers Network of Latin America and the Caribbean, Network Against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, Network Against People Trafficking, Candomblé Areas Network, the Pernambuco Women’s Forum, the Pernambuco LGBT Forum, the Pernambuco AIDS Network, State Health Council, Pernambuco Large Hospitals Health Board and the Addiction Prevention Network.


A visual identity was created for the project, which enhanced the association’s exposure. The support given to the project showed that the professionals were not alone and inhibited designs for “hygenizing” in the context of the 2014 World Cup. The folder “Sex professionals in defense of their rights during the cup” was created with the purpose of strengthening the group, publicize their achieved goals, and give prominence to the organization of prostitutes in their fight for the recognition of human rights. The events in areas of prostitution were held in the evening and at night, having as objectives the mapping of fixed and fluent areas of prostitution, to enter into contact with the prostitutes and invite them to participate in workshops arranged with the foundation’s support.

Funding Line

Annual Call for Proposals



Total Granted

R$ 37,090.00


9 months

Main Themes

The right to just and sustainable cities

Help transform Brazil!
Colaborate with our work!



Get to know the projects we support