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By Aliya on Apr 12th, 2010

Sex workers’ organizations across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia used the opportunity of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers to advocate SW’s rights. Below is a summary of the activities carried out be the organizations.

By olga on Apr 7th, 2010

In Macedonia, as throughout the world, sex workers are pushed to the margins of society by a combination of prejudice, discrimination, and violence. Insults and hate plague their lives, pervade media reports, and direct the approach of social institutions. But the lives and livelihoods of sex workers comprise of much more and the conviction remains that the selling of sexual services does not justify denial of fundamental rights, to which all human beings are entitled.

By olga on Apr 7th, 2010

On 25th-29th April 2010, the 21st International Harm Reduction Conference is taking place where it was first established in Liverpool, England.

By olga on Apr 7th, 2010

In January 2010 the government of Macedonia proposed a new draft of the long-awaited anti-discrimination law. Though previous drafts included "sexual direction" as ground protected against discrimination, it has been eliminated from the present draft. Boris O. Dittrich, the advocacy director in the program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Macedonia.

By Aliya on Dec 17th, 2009

December 17 is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers and our featured video comes to you from Macedonia, where local NGO Healthy Options Projects Skopje (HOPS) partnered with WITNESS this year on a campaign to end violence, marginalization, and criminalization of sex workers.

In Macedonia, as throughout the world, sex workers are pushed to the margins of society by a combination of prejudice, discrimination, and violence. Yet, the fact that a person sells sexual services cannot be used as justification for the denial of their fundamental rights, to which all human beings are entitled.

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

STAR (sex worker rights activist group) of Macedonia designed and launched a calendar for 2010, to mark December 17th and sex workers’ rights. The calendar may be downloaded from SWAN's website here in pdf format, and quality print versions may be requested from the STAR team (write to SWAN coordinator to swan@tasz.hu ).


STAR Newsletter is celebrating its 1 year of existence! Read issue 9 here. It features, among other articles, confession of a sex worker, quotes from famous people. There is a sex advice column, and information on sexual rights. Those interested can check what the Egyptian horoscope holds for them.


The 10th issue of the STAR newsletter From Us to US is dedicated to December 17 and the issues of human rights. Read Issue 10 here.

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

The meeting brought together 32 participants from 16 countries with the aim to exchange experience, share problems and find solutions, renew and strengthen the partnership ties and get to know new network members better.

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

The Ohrid network meeting was preceded by an activists’ meeting. 18 sex worker activists turned the meeting room into an art workshop and a cafeteria to discuss issues and personal experience around sex work in their countries.

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2009

(translated from Hungarian)

The participants included sex workers and representatives of organizations promoting sex workers’ rights from 16 countries . When checking in it was already clear that we were about to have a training of relaxed atmosphere with a team of nice, intelligent and funny people. The level of the hotel service further raised our mood.

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2009

Dear all:

To mark December 17, the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, the Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia is releasing its new report, Arrest the Violence: Human Rights Violations Against Sex Workers in 11 Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The report is based on interviews with more than 200 male, female and transgender sex workers between 2007 and 2009 and chillingly documents widespread violence and discrimination against them, particularly by state actors.

According to Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch’s Health and Human Rights Division:

Arrest the Violence is the first piece of research done under the leadership of sex workers to document human rights violations they face across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Sex workers throughout the region report that they face verbal and physical abuse, including beatings, kidnapping, and sexual violence, by police and private citizens. Sex workers also report that police confiscated condoms as “evidence” of sex work, and subjected them to mandatory HIV testing.
These are not isolated incidents. The physical, sexual, and verbal violations of sex workers’ rights are part of a pattern of abuse by police and in the community that is documented throughout the region.
It is my sincere hope that this report will serve as a catalyst to awaken the broader human rights community to the importance of documenting and denouncing human rights abuses against sex workers, and working with sex workers to end these abuses.

To access the report, please follow the links below.
Questions or comments may be directed to SWAN@TASZ.HU.

Sincerely,
Aliya Rakhmetova
Coordinator Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN)

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