The Israeli Prostitution Task Force Committee’s promise to carry out ‘a large-scale offensive to root out lap dances from strip clubs’ is just one several concurrent attacks on sex workers’ rights currently being launched by the Israeli Knesset (Parliament).
Regional updates: Europe
Sex worker groups have organised an international day of action on 21st September to honour the memory of Vanessa Campos, a sex worker who was killed in Paris in August.
NSWP joins sex worker-led organisations in the UK to condemn attempts to introduce FOSTA-style laws criminalising online platforms used by sex workers.
Sex workers in Spain have protested the acquittal of three men accused of raping a sex worker. 24 hours after being arrested, the three men accused of rape had been released under the restraining order. The men denied the rape “because the woman is a prostitute”.
A new security application, Artemis' Umbrella, has been developed for sex workers in Finland, and can be used anywhere in the world. The app alerts a trusted contact when sex workers are in trouble, and uses location services to track the smart phone.
Every year on 1st December the world marks World AIDS Day. Globally sex workers are disproportionately affected by HIV, with UNAIDS estimating prevalence among sex workers as twelve times greater than the general population. This year, SWAN (Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network) together with ICRSE (International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe) issued a joint statement for World AIDS Day, and SWAN members marked the day with various different events.
In their concluding observations to Russia’s sixth periodic review produced on 6 October 2017, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) recommended that Russia decriminalise sex work. This recommendation was the result of advocacy by NSWP member Silver Rose, a sex worker organisation in St. Petersburg.
On 27 - 29 June 2017, NSWP members All-Ukrainian Charitable Organization Legalife-Ukraine and Tais Plus (Kyrgyzstan) took part in a meeting of sex worker-led organisations in Amsterdam. The meeting was organised by Aidsfonds. Sex workers from 11 countries attended, including participants from Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, Nigeria, Myanmar and the Netherlands.
On 25 May, 2017, NSWP members Red Umbrella Athens (Greece) and Hellenic Association of People Living with HIV “Positive Voice” organised a conference on policy issues regarding sex work in Greece. It was very successful. It was the first time this topic was discussed by representatives from the government, political parties, civil society, sex workers and the scientific community.