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Palgrave Macmillan

On the Decriminalization of Sex Work in China

HIV and Patients' Rights

ISBN 9781137362858
Publication Date December 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This study argues that the decriminalization of sex work in China can contribute to HIV prevention and human rights protection. The argument is supported by six key concepts: the universality of human rights, rights-based approaches to HIV, sex work as work, risk environment for HIV transmission, decriminalization of sex work as a preferred model for HIV prevention, and rights-based responses to HIV and sex work. Three research methods are used, including research methods from law, social science, and public health. Recommendations are provided to reform Chinese law and HIV policy.

Dr. Jinmei Meng is a post-doctoral fellow in James E. Beasley School of Law, Temple University. She is also an associate professor in the faculty of law, Shantou University, China. Her post-doctoral project on HIV, drug use and the law is supported by the International AIDS Society and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the United States. Dr. Meng, who had twenty years' teaching experience in the field of law, obtained LL.M from the Chinese University of Political Science and Law in 1991 and Ph.D in Sexuality, Health and Culture from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 2011. In addition, Dr. Meng has been a Chinese lawyer since 1994 and is currently in Beijing Great Wall Law Firm. Her research areas cover public health law and policy, human rights, tort law, and intellectual property law and her expertise is to take a multidisciplinary approach to investigating the influences of law on population health. Dr. Meng has studied HIV and the law for ten years and published nationally and internationally. In 2005, the Press of the Chinese University of Political Science and Law published her book entitled with HIV and the Law.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Conceptual Framework
3. Anti-prostitution Law and Human Rights
4. Responses to HIV and Sex Work
5. Impacts of Anti-prostitution Policing on HIV Risks of Sex Workers
6. Conclusion and Recommendations: Decriminalization of Sex Work


'The author's expert knowledge of Chinese law and its legal system and ability to access and integrate Chinese-language legal and behavioral research resources give her the capacity to bring a strong Chinese voice to the analysis if these issues. In and of itself, sex work law and legal practice is, as the book makes clear, an important driver of HIV in China. Because similar laws and practices obtain elsewhere in Asia, the implications extend beyond China. In my research experience, I have not come across another work that covers this important material this thoroughly. Indeed, any one chapter of this book would be a significant contribution to the existing literature. The issue of the best regulatory approach to prostitution remains a matter of active, vigorous debate, and will not be resolved any time soon, so the book will be of use for some years to come.' – Scott C. Burris, Professor of Law, Temple University, USA
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