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Country info

Country infromation: Macedonia, (Македонија, officially the Republic of Macedonia - Република Македонија) is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe.

Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International

Number of sex workers: 2200- 3600 according to the estimation made in 2010 by the Institute for public heath.

HIV/AIDS rates: There have been registered 239 cases of HIV/AIDS until the end of February 2014.

HIV rates among sex workers: 0% as of August 2015.

Legal situation around sex work: Individual sex work in public spaces is illegal, it is an administrative offense and it is regarded as a violation against the public order (art. 19 from the Law on misdemeanors against the public order and peace). The same article states that it is punishable by a fine to provide (rent) space for an act of prostitution. Also the same law defines among others restaurants and hotels as public spaces, so their owners can be punished for providing space for sex work.

The Criminal Law (Art. 191, year 1996) punishes:

  • the crimes that aim at procuring, encouragement, earning by facilitating the provision of sexual services;
  • human trafficking;
  • involvment of underaged in sex industry.

There is no regulation about renting an appartment to a sex worker.

There is no law that punishes clients. Still, any person can be punished under the Law on misdemeanors for having sex in a public place. Practically, police targets only sex workers.

Services in country: Services for sex workers are only provided by the civil sector and those services are in major part sponsored by the GF through the Ministry of Health. Sex workers have access to

  • social services (support for implementing social and health rights),
  • legal services (free legal support for addressing violations of rights and strategic court litigation),
  • health services (free gynecological services, condoms and lubricants, free STI medications, VCT),
  • services from psychotherapist (for overcoming burn out, dealing with effects from experienced violence),
  • services from pedagogue (for supporting the children of sex workers),
  • outreach activities, direct services in Drop-in center (laundry machines, showers, hot meal),
  • peer educations,
  • creative workshops,
  • educational workshops,
  • services from stylist/peer educator.

Most of the funding for the services for sex workers comes from the GF with its final round until 2016.

Sex workers’ movement: STAR-STAR is a formal civil society organization lead from sex workers positioning as the first sex workers collective on the Balkans with its Executive Board comprised of 100% sex workers.

Latest news

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Dec 7th, 2017

Every year on 1st of December the world marks World AIDS Day. This year, SWAN together with ICRSE issued a joint statement and SWAN members marked the day with various different events.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Nov 30th, 2017

To mark World AIDS Day 2017, SWAN and ICRSE, two regional networks for sex workers’ rights in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia join individuals, organisations and other networks in uniting in the fight against HIV globally, and remembering those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses. Together, SWAN and ICRSE are publishing this joint statement to continue to highlight the key issues sex workers face in relation to health and HIV. We invite sex workers and allies in our region to join us in marking #WorldAIDSDay by including these HASHTAGS on social media and help us raise awareness of the importance of sex workers’ rights in the fight to end HIV and ensuring nobody is left behind!

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Jul 5th, 2017

Global Fund is leaving Macedonia this year in June. It means that most of the services will be closed or reduced to minimum if the Government doesn't provide financial support. Healthy Options Project Skopje - HOPS started a  campaign for securing sustainability of harm reduction programs in Macedonia with various activities - petition, meetings with Ministry of Health, press conferences, social media campaign, a video.  The key focus are harm reduction programs for drug users, but wider focus are all programs targeting key populations - sex workers, MSM, PLWHA.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Jun 2nd, 2017

Today, on 2nd of June 2017, we mark The International Sex Workers’ Day. On this day in 1975 French sex workers occupied the Saint-Nizier church in Lyon for 8 days in a desperate attempt to call attention to their worsened working conditions. On 10th June at 5 o'clock the Church was brutally raided and cleared by police forces.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Apr 27th, 2017

HOPS and “Move with your finger”  (the initiative supported by the National Youth Council of Macedonia), together with Macedonian well-known actor Sasko Kocev and a huge number of Macedonian artists have organised a successful charity auction for the kids that are visiting HOPS.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Mar 19th, 2017

SWAN members marked the International Sex Workers’ Rights Day on 3rd of March and the International Women's’ Day on 8 of March.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Mar 15th, 2017

SWAN, within the Regional Platform EECA, has developed a video and community guide  on the community’s engagement in Global Fund supported processes on the national level.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Jan 9th, 2017

SWAN members from Poland, Macedonia, Russia, Turkey, Slovakia and Ukraine commemorated the 17th of December with different events.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Dec 14th, 2016

Члены СВАН отметили 1 декабря, всемирный день борьбы со СПИДом, проведением различных мероприятий.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Dec 13th, 2016

On 1st of December, The World AIDS Day, SWAN members celebrated with multiple activities.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Dec 6th, 2016

Between 10 th -12 th November, 2016, in Budapest, Hungary, SWAN in collaboration with IWRAW Asia Pacific hosted a Regional Meeting to discuss follow-ups on Concluding Observations given by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) to 10 countries in the CEECA region - Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Jul 29th, 2016

The research encompassed 73 sex workers operating on the territory of the City of Skopje. The interviewees were women, men and transgender individuals from the open scene, closed scene and the scene of Shuto Orizari (the district with the majority of roma people).

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Jul 14th, 2016

A regional training on the SWIT (Sex Worker Implementation Tool) took place in Budapest on 21-25 June 2016. Teams from 7 countries attended the training: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia. Among them were female, male and transgender sex workers.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Mar 16th, 2016

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.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Dec 22nd, 2015

On December 17 SWAN members held different local actions to raise the awareness and commemorate International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

Macedonia
By maria on Dec 5th, 2015

On December 1, 2015 a number of SWAN members joined the commemoration of the World AIDS Day.

Macedonia
By ekaterina on Jun 3rd, 2015

During the period May 31st - June 1st, STAR-STAR organized two-day training on HIV, Human Rights and Sex Work Activism with support of ICRSE-The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe. The training took place in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia and 16 sex workers attended the training.

Macedonia
By maria on May 6th, 2015

Sex workers, sex workers’ rights activists, groups and allies celebrated May 1 with various actions. SWAN members also joined the celebration, you can read more about actions that took place in Turkey, BiH, Bulgaria and Macedonia on May 1, 2015 below.

Macedonia
By Aliya on Oct 7th, 2014

On 25-26 September 2014 HOPS-Healthy Options Project Skopje in Macedonia conducted a training for 14 police officers on the British Merseyside 'Ugly Mugs Scheme' aimed at protecting sex workers from violent offenders through cooperation with police. 

Macedonia
By admin on Dec 18th, 2013

A video address of a Macedonian sex worker on December 17.

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