The Russian Forum of Sex Workers, an NSWP member organisation, have shared a video of a police officer addressing a sex worker at a police station in Russia.
The video powerfully illustrates the general attitude of the state and the frequent discrimination and harassment faced by sex workers. In the short video, the police officer states, “You are a prostitute, you understand? You are not a human.”
The criminalisation of sex work in most countries around the world means that encounters such as this occur daily. Criminalisation is a major barrier that dissuades sex workers from reporting crimes to the police and facilitates abuse and violence from law enforcement officers.
NSWP’s Briefing Paper examining Sex Workers’ Lack of Access to Justice reported that sex workers experience discrimination at all stages of the justice system and that crimes against sex workers are not taken as seriously as crimes against others.
Sex workers’ rights to protection from the law and freedom from arbitrary detention are systematically violated by police and the judicial system in Russia and around the world.
The miscarriages of justice sex workers face are severe human rights violations that leave sex workers vulnerable to violence while excluding them from equal protection under the law.