Bosnia and Herzegovina
Who do you work with?:
ACTION AGAINST AIDS works with female and male sex workers. Also we target groups and partners of sex workers. Our outreach workers and counsellors also work with sex workers and their managers.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
Sex workers use the services of our organisation. All users have the option of using psychologists, social workers and doctors. All users of our organisation may be associated with social work centres, employment offices, treatment clinics, shelters etc. Some of our users are our gatekeepers.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
Sex workers are exposed to high stigma and discrimination and are therefore a hard to reach population. Also sex work in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not legal which is why sex workers are exposed to frequent arrests. The biggest challenge is lack of understanding of the local authority. Because of the stigma and discrimination often we do not want to come in contact with social services and thus reduce the possibility of receiving care.
Describe other areas of your work:
Our organisation is involved in providing prevention programs and providing psycho-social support and care to vulnerable populations. Also we provide counselling services and HIV testing. We are constantly working on improving the knowledge and skills of our clients through training. The emphasis is on working with people living with HIV.