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.
Regional updates: Europe
Our members are listed on the left or you can click the red umbrellas on the map.
Regional Board Members
Nataliia Isaieva (Legalife-Ukraine), Ukraine.
Christine (STRASS), France.
The International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) is a European network of sex workers and allies across Europe and Central Asia. It was formed in 2004 to organise the 2005 European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labour and Migration and is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network for Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (SWAN) is a network of sex workers' groups and civil society. SWAN started in 2006 as a project within Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU/TASZ) and became an independent organisation in 2012 and is based in Budapest, Hungary.
News articles from Europe region are listed below.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.