Who do you work with?:
Violett (previously Ghapro) works with male, female and transgender sex workers. Sex workers from all sectors are welcome in Violett.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
Our offer and working method is being evaluated permanently through the opinions and reactions of sex workers. We consult sex workers to have their advice on the development of our new projects. A colleague who was also a sex worker retired and unfortunately we did not find someone to replace her.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
The first main challenge for most sex workers we meet is coping financially. This is the case especially for migrant sex workers (in Antwerp mostly Romanian, Bulgarian and Spanish), but also Belgian sex workers are often in financial difficulties. This makes makes them extra vunerable to pressure from clients or other parties. The second main challenge is their social security. Many sex worker have no legal income. Therefore they cannot rely on social security and are not entitled to a legal pension. Often, they do not realise the implications until problems arise, like when they need hospitalisation or when approaching retirement age.
Describe other areas of your work:
Violett offers medical and social help to sex workers. We are a non-governmental organisation that works only with sex workers. These are the different areas we work in: - Medical help: STD consultation, vaccinations, contraception, general sexual health. - Advice on safe sex: individual consultation, group lessons and online information on safe sex and sexual health. - Social help: social workers help people with their administrational, practical, juridical and emotional problems in all areas of life. - Political work: we work for an improvement of the situation of sex workers in Belgium.