French sex workers and allies, including Act Up and STRASS have demonstrated in both Lyon and Paris this weekend against French minister for women's rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem's plans for the 'elimination of prostitution' and call for measures to be introduced to criminalise clients.
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.
Pro Sentret, the sex workers rights organisation based in Oslo, Norway have published a report outlining the deteriorating conditions and increasing violence against sex workers in the Norwegian capital.
The INDOORS project produced this video 'Equal Rights' to advocate for sex workers’ rights.
The video is available for free download in 17 languages here.
This video was made with and for sex workers in order to make people aware that sex work is work and that sex workers should be entitled to the same rights as other workers.
INVITATION: Stop the Arrests Campaign Launch this Monday
WHEN: 6.30PM, MONDAY 18th June
WHERE: Centre for Possible Studies,
21 Gloucester Place, London W1U 8HR (nearest tube: Marble Arch)
Campaign group, Stop the Arrests(1), will hold a public launch in central London this Monday to outline its call for a moratorium on sex worker arrests during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The panel includes Laura Agustín, trafficking expert and author of Sex at the Margins, Georgina Perry, manager of Open Doors, a sex worker health project operating in Hackney and a video link up with Brooke Magnanti, aka Belle de Jour and author of The Sex Myth. Stop the Arrests is concerned that the policing of sex work and sex establishments in the lead-up to the Olympics threatens to compromise the safety and autonomy of sex workers.
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.
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.'
With thanks to David Boudon for volunteering to provide this translation into French.
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.
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)
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.'