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.
Regional updates: Europe
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.
Germany is considering a new law which proposes the mandatory reigstration of sex workers and will require men to wear condoms during sex with sex workers.
The draft law is meant to protect sex workers, according to its authors.
Leeds has become the first city in the United Kingdom to have its own full-time ‘red light district’ where sex workers can legally operate, as long as they follow certain regulations.
Prior to this, sex workers in the Holbeck area of Leeds were allowed to work between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Following the success of the pilot project, the city decided to keep the red light district permanently.