Regional updates: Europe
We are sharing five articles focussing on the impact of the current health crisis on the five NSWP regions, based on responses to our COVID-19 Impact Survey. These snapshots provide an insight into what governments are doing – and not doing – to support sex workers and sex worker organisations and how the sex worker community are responding to the crisis.
The murders of sex workers in France are met by government indifference.
We are told that "prostitution" is violence, and that there were murders of sex workers before the criminalization of clients. But no. Not so many, not so often, not to this level. In 18 years of selling sex, I have never attended so many ceremonies and commemorations of deceased colleagues. In 15 years of whore activism and unionism, I’ve never seen so many STRASS members assaulted and raped, including one of our spokespersons and our General Secretary.
Following the decision of February 1 of the French Constitutional Council not to invalidate the penalisation of clients under the Prostitution Law, 250 sex workers working in France have decided to bring their case to the European Court of Human Rights. They are supported by 19 community, health and feminist organizations that defend the health and rights of all those involved in the sex trade.
Sex workers in Amsterdam are calling on the Amsterdam Museum to close a new exhibition, ‘No.1 Tourist Attraction’, criticising its content and use of stigmatising language. The exhibition, created by Nordic Model activist Jimini Hignett, is planned to run until March 2020, despite protests from sex workers and allies.
Sex workers attended a roundtable meeting and exhibition in the European Parliament this week, co-organised by Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld.
Swedish sex worker organisation Fuckförbundet has held the first sex worker-organised international conference in the country following the introduction of client criminalisation in 1999. Between 28th and 30th September, more than 80 sex workers joined the conference – Sex Work, Human Rights and Health: Assessing 20 Years of Swedish Model – in Stockholm.
New research has been released analysing the impact of criminalisation of sex work in Northern Ireland.
The University of Coruña has cancelled an upcoming conference on sex work after ‘harassment and cruelty’ directed towards them on social media.
An Irish campaign group is calling for changes to police policy following the results of a new study, which shows that more than 150 sex workers have been prosecuted under brothel keeping laws over the last ten years. The same study showed that almost all of those convicted under brothel keeping laws are migrant women, and that in 90% of the cases, those involved were ‘named and shamed’ in the media.