Regional updates: Europe

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.

1st February 2016 by NSWP

Galina, a 28-year-old Bulgarian sex worker was found murdered in Oslo in a carpark, on the 17 of December, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. She went missing on Wednesday the 16 of December. Her friends did not go to the police but went looking for her themselves, only calling the police when they found her body the day afterward.

26th January 2016 by NSWP

Seventeen representatives of sex worker organisations in South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe took part in a training workshop organised by the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) in Siem Reap, Cambodia from 5-10 December, 2015. The workshop was part of series designed specifically for sex workers, to build the knowledge and ability of NSWP members to engage and work with The Global Fund mechanisms in their countries.

14th December 2015 by NSWP

The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) and NSWP have hosted a training on sex worker advocacy and the implementation of rights-based HIV/STI programmes in Budapest, Hungary.

7th December 2015 by NSWP

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