A regional training on the SWIT (Sex Worker Implementation Tool) took place in Budapest on 21-25 June 2016. Teams from 7 countries attended the training: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia. Among them were female, male and transgender sex workers.
Regional updates: Europe
The Europe region is made up of three different regional networks.
- The International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) is an European network of sex workers and allies and was formed in 2004 to organise the 2005 European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labour and Migration in Brussels, Belgium.
- Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) is a network of sex workers' groups and civil society organisations engaged in advocating the Human Rights of the sex workers formed in 2006 in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
- TAMPEP (European Network for HIV/STI Prevention and Health Promotion among Migrant Sex Workers) is an international networking and intervention project operating in 25 countries, including 10 countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Pye Jakobsson, (Rose Alliance), Sweden. Pye is currently President of NSWP.
Borce Bozinov, (STAR-STAR), Macedonia.
Christine, (STRASS), France.
A majority of Members of Parliament (MPs) in Holland are supporting plans to make it an offence to pay for sex if sex workers are known or suspected to be victims of human trafficking. Sex work itself is legal in Holland.
This following text has been translated by NSWP’s European Regional Correspondent. The text is from a petition entitled “Punish Vyacheslav Datsika of Beatings and Abuse of Sex Workers in St. Petersburg!” on Change.org. NSWP member Silver Rose encourages the global sex work community to sign this petition. NSWP has reported on the violence experienced by sex workers in Russia during this incident here.
During the night of 17th to 18th of May, Viacheslav Datsik and his supporters illegally raided a brothel (known as a “salon” in Russia) in St Petersburg where 10 sex workers were working. The salon was on the 11th Line of Vasilyevsky Island. He broke down the door and under the threat of beating the women working there he forced them to undress completely, and then took them to the police naked.
The State council in the district of Saint-Josse, Brussels, ordered the suspension of the police regulation of window sex work on the 30th of November, 2015.
The French Parliament passed a bill on the 6th of April, 2016 which makes it illegal to pay for sex in France. Selling sex remains legal. The bill passed 64 to 12 in the National Assembly, France’s lower house, with 501 deputies abstaining from the vote.
In the 1980s, in response to rising HIV infections, Edinburgh City Council developed a licensed brothel system giving “saunas” public entertainment licenses knowing that sex was being sold on the premises. The local police force, Lothian and Borders Police, supported this system and would perform annual inspections on the saunas and support the renewal of their licenses.
Amendments to the public nuisance laws in Serbia, known as “Public Law and Order” laws, increased penalties for sex work related offences. Anti-sex work campaigners pushed the government to introduce amendments that would also punish the clients of sex workers. The new laws punishes everyone who disturbs ‘public order and peace’ including noisy neighbours, panhandling, burning pyrotechnic products, organising gambling, etc.
As Macedonian civil society organisation HOPS reports, sex workers in Macedonia have been awarded protection against the unlawful treatment of the police and the criminal court for the second time.