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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Amnesty International issued a statement on 17th May condemning a campaign by Greek authorities to identify sex workers with HIV following a law making testing compulsory for sex workers.

Amnesty joins the organisations condemning the actions by the Greek authorities, including UNAIDS as well as NSWP & GNP+, as reported on this website.  You can still sign the petition to the Greek Prime Minister here.

31st May 2012 by NSWP

As reported back in April Ann Jordan's Issue Paper from Rightswork.org examines the impact of the Swedish Penal Code from 1999. She concludes:

'Not surprisingly, the experiment has failed. In the thirteen years since the law was enacted, the Swedish government has been unable to prove that the law has reduced the number of sex buyers or sellers or stopped trafficking. All it has to show for its efforts are a (contested) public support for the law and more danger for street-based sex workers. Despite this failure, the government has chosen to ignore the evidence and proclaim the law to be a success; it also continues to advocate that other countries should adopt a similar law.'

This resource has now also been translated into French (available here) and Spanish (available here).

With thanks to David Boudon for volunteering to provide this translation into French.

31st May 2012 by NSWP

Raids on flats in London and increased activity by the Metropolitan Police in targeting street-based sex workers have forced women to work underground, begin working outdoors and to move away from areas they know well.  All of which has put them at greater risk of violence and driven them further away from the support services they use and trust, reports the Independent today.

12th May 2012 by NSWP

In a deplorable move, Athens police have published photographs of 12 sex workers who have tested HIV positive in the last few days, with more disgraceful abuses being promised in the future.

You can sign the petition to the Greek Prime Minister to stop the forced testing and outing of HIV+ sex workers here.  (Read it in English, Spanish & French) 

2nd May 2012 by NSWP

X:Talk have launched a campaign for a moratorium on sex worker arrests during the Olympics.

They are seeking a moratorium – a suspension of legal powers – on arrests of sex workers before and up to the end of the London Olympics. 

'Governments and NGOs draw a link between sporting events and increase in trafficking, but there is no proven link.  We ask for a moratorium because the usual response by governments to those assumptions is to crack down on sex workers. Up to now, anti-trafficking measures have mainly been about making criminal law interventions. But raids on brothels, for example, find that the number of people trafficked is nowhere near as many as thought.'

Read x:talk briefing paper here and and SIGN UP to their campaign by emailing xtalk.knowledge@gmail.com 

9th April 2012 by NSWP

Press Release from: English Collective of Prostitutes

As arrests, raids and prosecutions of sex workers increase in Olympic boroughs and throughout the UK, calls for the decriminalisation of prostitution highlight the need to protect sex workers from rape and violence.

9th April 2012 by NSWP

Ann Jordan's Issue Paper from Rightswork.org examines the impact of the Swedish Penal Code from 1999. 

4th April 2012 by NSWP

Sex Workers in Madrid are taking direct action on the Banking industry by declaring an indefinite strike and refusing clients who work in this sector.

They say that until bankers return to providing credits to Spanish families and also small- and medium-sized businesses, there will be no sexual pleasures for their employees.

26th March 2012 by NSWP

Source: Press Release from the English Collective of Prostitutes 

Sheila Farmer, a sex worker who worked with other women from premises for safety had charges of brothel-keeping dismissed today in Croydon Crown Court. She worked with other women since being viciously raped and attacked whilst working alone. 

4th January 2012 by Neil McCulloch