30th July is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Sex Workers Alliance Ireland circulated this press release illustrating that Ireland is not utilising its best weapon against sex trafficking: sex workers themselves. You can read the full release on SWAI's website.
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.
Dinah de Riquet-Bons (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.
A new law criminalising clients has come into effect in Israel. The law, which was approved a year and a half ago by the Knesset, punishes those caught seeking the services of sex workers, as well as those apprehended in a location chiefly used for sex work.
In April 2020, NSWP launched a global survey to understand the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers. The survey received, thus far, a total of 156 responses from 55 different countries out of which 43 responses were from 17 countries – Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, North Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom – in the Europe region.
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.