Facebook page of SWAN Twitter page of SWAN RSS feeds

site available in english and russian

  • English
  • Russian

Country info

Historical/political snapshot (Wikipedia): Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world.

Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International

HIV/AIDS rates: according to UNAIDS number of people living with HIV in Russia in 2014 is 850,000-1,300,000 (0,6- 0,9%). According to HIV-center Russia there are 907.607 people living with HIV in Russia (as of 31.12.2014)

HIV prevalence among sex-workers: The prevalence of HIV infection among sex-workers in various cities ranged from 3.8% to 11.6% (2012). Around 15% of indoors sex-workers and more than 60% of outdoor sex-workers in St-Petersburg are HIV-positive (2015).

Legal situation around sex-work: It is illegal to sell sex and to organise commercial sex in any place.

The Code of Administrative Offences prohibits 'engagement in prostitution' (Article 6.1.1) and 'Deriving Income from Engagement in Prostitution, Where This Income Is Connected with Another Person's Engagement in Prostitution' (Article 6.12).

The Criminal Code makes it illegal to keep brothels and organise prostitution. (articles 240 and 241)

The laws are rarely used and there is a large, open sex industry in many parts of the country due to widespread police corruption.

In May 2013, Russia's national organization of sex workers, Silver Rose, was denied NGO registration by Russia's Ministry of Justice. The Ministry declared that 'there is no such profession as sex work, 'accusing Silver Rose of 'campaigning and propaganda inciting social, racial, national and or religious hatred and enmity' (Article 29 of the Constitution) and 'organization of prostitution".

Although there is no formal provision for mandatory medical examinations, sex workers have suggested that local police and health workers together create and enforce rules aimed at removing infected women from the sex industry.

It is not illegal to buy sex.

Services for sex-workers:

Sex-workers' movement:

Latest news

Russia
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.

Russia
By ekaterina on May 26th, 2017

On 1st of May, the International Workers Day, Silver Rose has joined the march in St Petersburg for the first time. The participants were holding red umbrellas and different banners.

Russia
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.

Russia
By ekaterina on Jan 9th, 2017

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

Russia
By ekaterina on Dec 14th, 2016

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

Russia
By ekaterina on Dec 13th, 2016

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

Russia
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.

Russia
By ekaterina on Sep 21st, 2016

The founder of Silver Rose Irina Maslova is one of the 14 women human rights defenders and groups featured by the Global Fund for Women in their campaign Women Human Rights DefendHer.

Russia
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.

Russia
By ekaterina on May 18th, 2016

During the night of 17th to 18th of May, Viacheslav Datsik and his supporters illegally raided a brothel (known as a “salon” in Russia) in St Petersburg where 10 sex workers were working. The salon was on the 11th Line of Vasilyevsky Island. He broke down the door and under the threat of beating the women working there he forced them to undress completely, and then took them to the police naked. He managed to carry out an attack on a similar establishment in central St Petersburg, but he was detained by the brothel’s security guards and was taken to the police station.

Russia
By ekaterina on May 16th, 2016

Silver Rose organized a strategic meeting of sex workers, which took place between the 11th and 14th of April, 2016 in Moscow. The topic of the meeting was "Community strengthening, access to prevention programs, and overcoming existing obstacles - joint actions". The strategic meeting was aimed at implementing the approach of meaningful participation, based on the need and importance of the participation of sex workers in matters relating to their health, life, safety, dignity and human rights.

Russia
By ekaterina on May 1st, 2016

Silver Rose is a sex worker-led organisation and member of NSWP and SWAN, representing sex workers and their allies. They bring together the leaders of the sex work community and their supporters. “We know what the problems of our community are and what are the solutions in the context of human rights and prevention of socially relevant diseases,” as stated on the Silver Rose website.

Russia
By ekaterina on Jan 31st, 2016

Creator and the chairwoman of the Union of artists and sex workers "Teresa" Vika Begalskaya together with the researcher of the Center for Independent Social Research Alexander Kondakov held an unusual study in St. Petersburg. They organized a survey on those who professionally provide sexual services, and the interviews were taken by sex workers themselves.

Russia
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.

Russia
By ekaterina on Dec 11th, 2015

The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) and NSWP have hosted a training on sex worker advocacy and the implementation of rights-based HIV/STI programmes in Budapest, Hungary. The participants - from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Georgia - discussed the barriers sex workers face when advocating for their rights and the possible solutions to these barriers based on the SWIT tool.

Russia
By maria on Dec 5th, 2015

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

Russia
By ekaterina on Sep 27th, 2015

On 16 - 18 september 2015 SHAGI Foundation organized and conducted a training for the employees and volunteers of the “Red Umbrella” project. The training was made in cooperation with humanitarian organization "Peace Doctors France" and "Silver Rose" movement.

Russia
By ekaterina on Sep 10th, 2015

The project is aimed at the prevention of HIV and STIs among sex workers (male and female). There are two main lines of work: service provision for target groups and sex workers community establishment.

Russia
By maria on Aug 6th, 2015

An interview with Irina Maslova by Elena Derzhanskaya from Initiativa Pozitiva, an organization that deals with HIV/AIDS in Moldova.

Irina Maslova is a Chairwoman of the non-profit partnership of sex workers and their supporters "Silver Rose" as well as Chairman of the HIV / AIDS Coordinating Committee of the Russian Federation. A few weeks ago Irina came to Moldova to the meeting of the Global Fund Community Delegation. I had managed to make an interview with Ira, and after this my personal attitude to sex workers changed dramatically. I hope yours will change as well.

Russia
By maria on Jun 5th, 2015

Due to the economic crisis and the unstable situation in Ukraine the number of women involved in prostitution increased in Russia. St.-Petersburg is leading in the number of relevant administrative records.

Newsletter

Get the SWAN Newsletter today!

Sign Up Here

VIDEO

Watch the latest SWAN news!

Watch Now

Advocacy School

Learn how to advocate for your rights, what to keep in mind and what others do.

Read and learn

Publications

Publications by SWAN and the partners.

Read

Partners