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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During the night of 17th to 18th of May, Viacheslav Datsik and his supporters illegally raided a brothel (known as a “salon” in Russia) in St Petersburg where 10 sex workers were working. The salon was on the 11th Line of Vasilyevsky Island. He broke down the door and under the threat of beating the women working there he forced them to undress completely, and then took them to the police naked.

18th May 2016 by NSWP

The State council in the district of Saint-Josse, Brussels, ordered the suspension of the police regulation of window sex work on the 30th of November, 2015.

11th May 2016 by NSWP

The French Parliament passed a bill on the 6th of April, 2016 which makes it illegal to pay for sex in France. Selling sex remains legal. The bill passed 64 to 12 in the National Assembly, France’s lower house, with 501 deputies abstaining from the vote.

13th April 2016 by NSWP

In the 1980s, in response to rising HIV infections, Edinburgh City Council developed a licensed brothel system giving “saunas” public entertainment licenses knowing that sex was being sold on the premises. The local police force, Lothian and Borders Police, supported this system and would perform annual inspections on the saunas and support the renewal of their licenses.

30th March 2016 by NSWP

Amendments to the public nuisance laws in Serbia, known as “Public Law and Order” laws, increased penalties for sex work related offences. Anti-sex work campaigners pushed the government to introduce amendments that would also punish the clients of sex workers. The new laws punishes everyone who disturbs ‘public order and peace’ including noisy neighbours, panhandling, burning pyrotechnic products, organising gambling, etc.

28th March 2016 by NSWP

As Macedonian civil society organisation HOPS reports, sex workers in Macedonia have been awarded protection against the unlawful treatment of the police and the criminal court for the second time.

15th March 2016 by NSWP

The City Council of Alicante, Spain has approved the repeal of the bylaw on panhandling and sex work adopted by the previous government.

4th March 2016 by NSWP

Germany is considering a new law which proposes the mandatory reigstration of sex workers and will require men to wear condoms during sex with sex workers.

The draft law is meant to protect sex workers, according to its authors.

19th February 2016 by NSWP

Leeds has become the first city in the United Kingdom to have its own full-time ‘red light district’ where sex workers can legally operate, as long as they follow certain regulations.

Prior to this, sex workers in the Holbeck area of Leeds were allowed to work between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Following the success of the pilot project, the city decided to keep the red light district permanently.

1st February 2016 by NSWP

Galina, a 28-year-old Bulgarian sex worker was found murdered in Oslo in a carpark, on the 17 of December, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. She went missing on Wednesday the 16 of December. Her friends did not go to the police but went looking for her themselves, only calling the police when they found her body the day afterward.

26th January 2016 by NSWP