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SWAN News, Issue 18, Year 3, March-April 2008

IN FOCUS: Debate on Legalization of Prostitution in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyz law is rather strict in dealing with prostitution. There are three articles in the Criminal Code penalizing minors’ and adults’ involvement in sex work as well as brothels industry development with up to five years of imprisonment. But recently, there are ever more voices requesting re-evaluation of such policies, claiming they have negative effect on public health and human rights. More

Legalization of prostitution in Kyrgyzstan: Pro and Con
Kyrgyz news agency 24.kg asked some known public and political figures about their attitude to prostitution legalization: May Kyrgyzstan legalize prostitution? What is your personal attitude to commercial sex workers? Would you like to invest money in brothel development? More


Kyrgyzstan: police raids the Labryis Center
Only a day after the round table on legalization of prostitution, on April 9 in the evening hours police paid a surprise visit to the Community Centre of the Kyrgyz Labrys (Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Organization in Kyrgyzstan) and interrupted a dinner with some 30 participants, among them representatives of Anti-AIDS Association, Tais Plus, the SWAN member from Kyrgyzstan, guests from Netherlands (COC, HIVOS), Moldova (Gender Doc-M), the Labrys staff, Board, volunteers and the Centre’s clients. More

Macedonia: support needed in advocacy for drug treatment decentralization
Please support Macedonian activists in their attempts to convince the Ministry of Health and the City Major to open three new drug treatment centers in Skopje. More
Montenegro: NGO Juventas joins SWAN
As of April 2008, Juventas from Montenegro is a new member of SWAN.
A national youth organization since 1996, Juventas in 2004 started working with marginalized groups such as prisoners, drug users and sex workers. Since 2007 they developed first outreach project for sex workers in Montenegro. More


SWAN members participate at a red-umbrella event in Vienna
More than 60 representatives from migrants’ and prostitutes’ counseling organizations, sex workers and other experts from around Europe participated in a red umbrella event in from of Austrian Parliament. Among them for representatives of SWAN. More

Statement from International Sex Worker Harm Reduction Caucus
Please sign a statement representing sex workers’ position in harm reduction movement and rights, Prepared for the International Harm Reduction Association’s 19th International Conference Harm Reduction 2008, to be held in Barcelona, Spain, May 11 to 15, 2008 More

In this column, SWAN News publishes articles that can help sex workers rights advocates in their daily work: how to challenge the myths surrounding sex work, how to fight abolitionists, how to work with media, communicate, create an effective message and get it across.
The Curious Sex Workers’ Guide to International Aids Conferences
In this easy-to read Q&A prepared by our consultant and Anna-Louise Crago, we try to find out what are the international AIDS conferences, why are they important and why they matter to sex workers? You can also find out how to participate at one such conference and – how to get a photo with Richard Gere. More

Sign UK petition and support sex workers rights!
UK resident or ex-pat? Please sign + help publicize the online petition

The Downing Street petition calls for the rejection of criminalising the clients of sex workers, for the decriminalisation of prostitution, and for the UK to come into line with the Council of Europe’s policy of empowering prostitutes and giving them a say in policy making. More

Photos from Pute Pride 2008 in Paris
ICRSE website www.sexworkeurope.org  reports on the Pute Pride 2008. Sex workers and activists from France, Switzerland, Netherlands and other European countries got together in Paris on 22 March and celebrated their freedoms, rights and work. Photographs from the Pride are available on the flicker photo stream of Philippe Leroyer.

LEFÖ Campaign 2008: Sex workers have desire... for their rights!
This nationwide campaign for the rights of sex workers starts 8th March 2008 | International Women's Day and ends 2nd June 2008 | International Sex Workers Day. In 2008 the campaign is extended to 29 June to coincide with the Football Championships. Information and Program: www.lustaufrechte.at
Or download the campaign details here.

News from SHARP
News from Sexual Health and Rights Project of the OSI
Groups meet to improve access to health and human rights for East African sex workers
In late March, health and human rights groups from across Kenya and Uganda held a three-day workshop addressing the health risks and abuses faced by sex workers in the region. More

Human rights and HIV/AIDS: now more than ever
Now more than ever, law and human rights should occupy the center of the global HIV/AIDS struggle. A booklet, published by the Open Society Institute's Law and Health Initiative, presents 10 reasons why. You can download the booklet in nine languages here.
Endorse Human rights and HIV/AIDS: now more than ever
Please take 5 minutes to submit your organization's endorsement of Human Rights and HIV/AIDS: Now More Than Ever. More
The Open Society Fellowship, rolling deadline
The Fellowship will enable outstanding individuals from around the world - journalists, activists, academics, practitioners - to work on projects that inspire meaningful public debate, shape policy, and inform the thinking and activities of the Open Society Institute and the Soros foundations. More

OSI Welcomes UN Secretary-General's Comments on HIV Prevention and Treatment for Stigmatized Groups
April 9, 2008 -- The Open Society Institute welcomed the UN Secretary-General's recent call for increased health and human rights protections for people living with HIV, sex workers, men who have sex with men, and young people who inject drugs. More

Nothing about us without us is a message repeated more often then ever before by sex workers around the world. This new column in the SWAN News provides an opportunity for sex workers to express their opinions, tell us about their lives, problems and dreams. The column is edited by Anna-Louise Crago, sex worker and advocate for sex workers human rights. Contributions are welcome: write to sexwork@tasz.hu.
Working Girl
09 April 2008, Sydney -- Queer sex worker Elena Jeffreys, the President of Scarlet Alliance, a national association that lobbies for the rights of sex workers in Australia, talks about globalized sex work and taking part in the 2020 summit next month. More

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Call For Proposals
Deadline: May 30, 2008
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now accepting grant proposals for the first round of Grand Challenges Explorations, a US$100 million initiative to encourage bold and unconventional global health solutions. More

SexPolitics - Reports from the Front Lines
Sexuality Policy Watch (SPW), 2008
The book is a comparative study of the politics of sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights in eight countries and two global institutions - Brazil, Egypt, India, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam, the United Nations and the World Bank. More

Prostitution Policies around the World
This online database developed by ProCon.Org details 51 countries and their policies on prostitution, brothel ownership, and pimping. More

Harm Reduction Developments 2008
This report by the Open Society Institute provides a snapshot of key developments in HIV prevention, policy, and treatment for injecting drug users in countries with injection-driven HIV epidemics. More

Working Sex
A compilation of sex workers' writings edited by sex impresario Annie Oakley who founded and directs the Sex Workers' Art Show, a performance group that tours the United States. More

"I am not proud of being a whore, but I am proud of not being ashamed"
-- L, sex worker activist, London 2008

For copyrights reasons, we are sometimes unable to place the full text of the selected articles on the SWAN-HCLU website. Instead, we are providing a link to the news source, for which we do not know how long it will be active. We apologize in advance for possible inconveniences. Some headlines are edited.

Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, United States
Federal Requirement for Pledge Against Commercial Sex Work Unclear
March 5, 2008 -- A U.S. policy requiring that recipients of federal HIV/AIDS service grants pledge to oppose commercial sex work puts public health groups working with sex workers "at risk," Daniel Pellegrom, president of Pathfinder International, writes in a Boston Globe letter to the editor. More

Inquirer.net – Philippines
Buying sex to be criminalized in Norway -- government
April 18, 2008, Oslo -- Norway's government on Friday proposed a new law that would make purchasing sex a criminal act punishable with up to six months behind bars. More

BBC news
Games 'magnet' for prostitution
Glasgow has been warned that hosting the Commonwealth Games could make it a "magnet" for prostitution. More

The Daily Mail, UK
'Legalize brothels to protect women from prostitution', says bishop
April 17, 2008 -- A Catholic bishop today claimed that legalizing brothels may be the only way to protect vulnerable women who are drawn into prostitution. Despite branding the sex trade as immoral, Bishop Crispian Hollis, the Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, Hants, is backing a campaign to license brothels. More

AllAfrica.com, USA
Uganda: Nsaba Buturo's Ban Lacks Integrity
April 10, 2008 -- Government's hasty move to ban a planned regional workshop for sex workers was not well thought out. It was a reactive decision that only portrayed the authorities' weakness in identifying what really defines 'Ethics and Integrity.' More

Ynetnews, Israel
Prostitutes convince Knesset to withdraw legalization proposal
March 31, 2008, Tel Aviv -- Committee on Status of Women decides to rescind bill proposal to institutionalize prostitution following shocking testimony of former sex industry workers at debate. More

Taipei Times, Taipei
Sex workers call for election vows
March 9, 2008, Taipei -- A group of 300 sex workers and their supporters took to the streets yesterday to call on the presidential candidates to make prostitution legal, prompting Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to commit himself to decriminalizing prostitution if elected. More

Trinidad & Tobago Express, Trinidad and Tobago
I am a sex worker
March 29, 2008, Port of Spain -- The accounts of some of the sex workers who have formed the Caribbean Sex Worker Coalition (CSWC) - two female, two transgender, and two male sex workers (one gay, the other heterosexual) - gave insight into the realities of Caribbean socio-economics, sexuality and gender relations that led them to sell sex. More

Sovo.com, USA
British man nabbed for failing to pay gay prostitutes
March 28, 2008, London — Police in London have announced the arrest of a 37-year-old man suspected of hiring male sex workers and not paying for them. More

Xtra.ca, Canada
Unifying against the organ donor ban
March 25, 2008 -- Gay men aren't the only people officially discouraged from donating organs since Health Canada quietly enacted its controversial policy last December. Sex workers, prisoners and IV drug users are also subject to the ban. More

BBC News, UK
Iran anti-vice chief 'in brothel'
April 16, 2008 -- Tehran's police chief, who was reportedly discovered in a brothel, has been arrested, it has been confirmed. More 

African News, Switzerland
A glance at prostitution
March 24, 2008 -- Prostitution has become a high-profile issue of late. The debate seems to be centered on whether prostitution should be legalized or not. Many arguments have been advanced for and against this notion by both scholars and the lay alike. And within these groups, there are divergent opinions as to whether prostitution should be legalized or not. More

NY Times, United States
An Agent, a Green Card, and a Demand for Sex
In a case reported in March this year by the New York Times, a 22-year old Columbian woman was asked by an immigration agent to provide sex in return for a Green Card. More

Democrats.com, USA
How Many Child Prostitutes Is Bush Responsible For?
March 18, 2008 -- George Bush has been tied to a prostitution ring involving as many as 50,000 women and girls. The prostitutes, some as young as 13, are among the 1.2 million desperate Iraqis who fled to Syria after Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to the U.K. Independent. More

Scotsman, United Kingdom
Vice law fails safety test
18 April 2008 -- The Newhaven-based prostitutes' support group ScotPEP has released new figures showing that the number of attacks on prostitutes – called "ugly mug" incidents by the street workers – has doubled since 2006. They claim the laws have made life more dangerous for women, by forcing them to work alone and take more risks. More

San Leandro India West, USA
New AIDS Report Urges Focus on At-Risk Groups
16 Apr 2008 -- A new independent report on AIDS in Asia just handed over to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urges jettisoning general, poorly defined AIDS awareness programs and, instead, focusing on groups that are most prone to transmit the HIV virus. At-risk groups also need to be destigmatized, advices the report. More

Workers' Liberty - London,UK
A socialist feminist analysis of sex work
There is nothing inherently exploitative or degrading about consensual sexual behaviour regardless of its motivation. Yet many campaigners and lawmakers ignore the voices of sex workers and refuse to recognise that the vast majority work in the industry by choice. More

Houston Chronicle - United States
Nursing home fuels Danish debate over prostitution
April 15, 2008, Copenhagen — When a male resident at Kildegaarden nursing home in Denmark made an indecent sexual proposal to a member of the staff, the home's director, Inger Marie Kristensen, told a nurse to telephone for a prostitute. More

The list of SWAN News subscribers is getting bigger by the day. Please let us know if you receive the News regularly (we hope we are not discarded as spam by your computer email filter?) and give us suggestions for improvement. If you have news or stories on the sex work issues that you think are interesting or relevant for the advocates and policy makers who receive the SWAN News, please send them to us. We will carefully read and seriously consider publishing them. Our email address is sexwork@tasz.hu

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SWAN newsletter is the voice of the Sex Workers Rights Advocacy Network, a network of civil society organizations engaged in advocating the Human Rights of the sex workers in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. More

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