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.

Regional Networks

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.

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The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) have released a statement strongly condemning the recent EU Parliament vote on the flawed report prepared by MEP Mary Honeyball.

6th March 2014 by NSWP

MEP Mary Honeyball's flawed and factually incorrect report 'Sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equality' was backed by the European Parliament yesterday. The final report by Mary Honeyball, MEP was approved by the European Parliament by 349 votes to 139 on the 27thof February 2014.

27th February 2014 by NSWP

In 2012 during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, Carol Leigh from Bayswan met and interviewed Petite Jasmine with Pye Jakobbson from Rose Alliance of Sweden. Petite Jasmine was murdered one year later, a victim of the stigmatisation and legal discrimination that sex workers face.

25th February 2014 by NSWP

La Strada International (LSI), the European NGO Network against Trafficking in Human Beings, and its partners in the LSI NGO platform – who are united against trafficking in human beings, have issued a statement strongly opposing the report by the FEMM committee that was drafted by Mary Honeyball. The report on ‘sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equality’ calls for the so-called ‘Swedish Model’.

24th February 2014 by NSWP
More than 560 civil society organisations and 94 researchers tell the European Parliament to reject a report on prostitution by Mary Honeyball, MEP for London, which promotes the criminalisation of clients of sex workers, in an upcoming plenary session on February 27th.
 
19th February 2014 by NSWP

Human rights activists in Kyrgyzstan are concerned that a new police department tasked with combating human trafficking is forcing sex workers in the capital to undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Police in Bishkek have set up a new unit to tackle sexual exploitation and to monitor businesses suspected of running 'prostitution rings'. Numerous of these establishments have been raided since the unit was set up in November of last year.

18th February 2014 by NSWP

Colectivo Hetaira released the following manifesto on the 6th of February 2014.

Madrid sex workers and Colectivo Hetaira denounce the increasingly precarious conditions in which we are carrying out our work, due to regulations and laws that punish prostitutes who get their clients in the street while favoring the owners of big clubs -forcing us to work in those places where there are no laws to protect our rights, since prostitution is not recognized as work.

11th February 2014 by NSWP

French lawmakers will vote on Wednesday (4th December) whether to implement a law that penalises the clients of sex workers. Legislators are proposing sanctions, including incremental fines and ultimately up to 6 months in prison for repeat ‘offenders’. The proposed legislation has as its basis the controversial ‘Swedish Model’ which incorrectly purports to ‘decriminalise’ sex workers whilst criminalising clients. The model attempts to ‘end demand’ for sexual services which proponents of the Swedish Model argue leads to increased violence against women and human trafficking. The proposals are ideologically driven rather than evidence-based and incorrectly views sex work through the prism of ‘violence against women’ whilst also irresponsibly conflating trafficking with sex work. The consultation process and proposals excluded the voices of current sex workers and the sex worker rights organisations that advocate for a rights-based approach to policy and legislation.

The French proposals for the criminalisation of clients is not a human rights-based response to sex work. NSWP stands in solidarity with sex workers and sex workers’ rights organisations in France in opposing these proposals to criminalise the clients of sex workers.

You can download the full statement as a 3 page PDF in English below.

29th November 2013 by NSWP

Germany has formed its first professional association of sex workers to lobby and fight for the rights of sex workers as well as improve their lives and working conditions.

In an interview with Spiegel Online, Johanna Weberb, the founder of the association, said that the association caters to different sex workers working in different fields.

18th November 2013 by NSWP

A documentary highlighting how Greece arrested - and exposed sex workers in the media - has been released. as new legislation that allows forced HIV testing on suspected sex workers is reinstated.

11th November 2013 by NSWP