FAILURES OF JUSTICE: State and Non-State Violence Against Sex Workers and the Search for Safety and Redress
This publication is about sex workers’ experiences of state and non-state violence, and hindered attempts to access justice in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The study was undertaken in sixteen countries of our region, with local research teams comprised of sex workers and allies joining efforts. It provides an insight on how stigma and the criminalization of sex work enables daily violence and repression that sex workers face from police and non-state actors. This entails barriers to accessing legal aid and justice, as well as harm reduction, health or social services.
“FAILURES TO JUSTICE” yields evidence on how criminalization and poor policing practices are causally also associated with violation of basic humans rights, precarity, displacement, child custody issues and increased violence against sex workers who are women, queer, trans, Roma, migrants, drug users or HIV positive. It examines how sex workers try to resist and halt the impunity of law enforcement, but are confronted systematically with stigma, discrimination, and more police abuse through extortion, threats, raids, or physical and sexual violence.
The publication includes recommendations for governments, ministries, ombudsman, UN agencies and member states, and donor organizations on how to cease, or actively get involved in decreasing violence against sex workers by supporting full decriminalization of sex work and thus improving access to justice, as well as committing to the advancement of sex workers’ human and labour rights.
SWAN thanks all sex workers and allies who have contributed to this publication.