Regional updates: Europe

Nilay, a 33-year-old transgender sex worker was found dead November 23rd in her house in Maltepe, Istanbul, several days after Transgender Day of Remembrance. Police responded to an Istanbul LGBTI activist who requested information by saying “she is already dead, why do you care?”

27th November 2015 by NSWP

The Czech Republic introduces training for sex workers to provide legal, paid services to people with disabilities. Five sex workers, called sexual assistants, were trained by the Czech charity Rozkoš bez Rizika (Bliss without Risk). Their services are approved by the Interior Ministry. Sex work in Czech Republic is not illegal, but organised sex work is prohibited. Despite this the sex industry is widespread.

24th November 2015 by NSWP

The Tajik Parliament wants to abolish sex work. They are introducing harsher measures under the Administrative Liability Code, hoping this will deter sex workers from working in the industry. According to the Tajik news source Ozodi, under new and harsher rules set out in the Administrative Liability Code, sex workers caught breaking the law for the first time will be required to pay double what they paid in the past.

16th November 2015 by NSWP

Dutch sex workers working without a brothel license may risk a prison sentence of up to six months. The Act Regulating Prostitution (WRP) proposes to criminalise all sex workers without licensure, including sex workers who work alone and camgirls/camboys. According to the Research and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of Justice and Safety, this will affect one third of all sex workers. Parliament will vote on the law proposal before the end of the year. Most political parties have expressed their support of the law.

30th October 2015 by NSWP

On Wednesday October 14, the French Senate, which holds a conservative party majority, threw out a bill passed by the National Assembly in 2013 that proposes to criminalise the clients of sex workers. Clients of sex workers would be liable for fines up to €1,500 for a first offence and €3,750 for repeated offences. Senators voted 190 to 117 against the bill.

23rd October 2015 by NSWP

On September 8, 2015, independent member of the Scottish Parliament for the Highlands and Islands proposed a new law entitled Prostitution Law Reform (Scotland) Bill, developed with NSWP member SCOT-PEP. SCOT-PEP and the NSWP welcome the launch of the proposed bill and consultation process.

15th September 2015 by NSWP

Rose Aliance, the Swedish sex worker organisation has written a letter of support to Amnesty International. Amnesty is under intense pressure from anti-sex work campaigners for their proposals to support the call for the decriminalisation of sex work. Rose Alliance is a young organisation founded in 2009. Historically, sex workers in Sweden have found it very difficult to organise for their rights. Sex workers tell of how challenging it is to speak out about their rights as sex workers in a country that only recognises the right not to sell sex. Since the beginning of Sweden's sex worker rights movement’s in the mid-70s, the narrative on sex work has gone from bad to worse. First sex workers were described as, 'social outcasts with a history of abuse, then emotionally damaged who were unfit to be parents, passive bystanders who had bad things happening to them.'

10th August 2015 by NSWP

Last week, in the Parisian neighbourhood of Belleville, 40 migrant Chinese sex workers participated in a rally organised by STRASS and Steel Roses denouncing the increase in police harassment.

3rd July 2015 by NSWP

Across the Central and Eastern European region, several workshops have been held within the last month, focusing on STI prevention, human rights and sex worker activism, and highlighting the need for sex worker involvement in programmes and projects established on their behalf.

3rd July 2015 by NSWP

The Swiss government has said that it is opposed to any new measures that would criminalise prostitution or the purchase of commercial services.

15th June 2015 by NSWP