Russian police officer sentenced to 8 years for murder of sex worker


After an information campaign launched by Russia's "Silver Rose", Russian police officer Vladimir Sharapov who had beaten up a drug user sex worker to death in Saint Petersburg in July 2012, was sentenced to 8 years of prison and obliged to pay one million in rubles to the murdered sex worker's mother.

HOPS conducts training for police officers on Merseyside model for ugly mugs

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. The training was led by Tim Keelan, Detective Superintendent of the Merseyside Police and Shelly Stoops from Liverpool Community Health Trust. The "Ugly Mugs" scheme works by sharing information on violent or potentially dangerous clients and known criminals, making it easier for sex workers to report attacks.

Job opening: Executive Director of SWAN Foundation

We are currently inviting applications for the position of the Executive Director of SWAN Foundation, Budapest, Hungary.

AIDS 2014 participants express solidarity with Tajik sex workers facing police crackdown

SWAN conducted an awareness raising photo flash mob at the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne, where participants of the conference were informed about the major police crackdown on sex workers in Tajikistan and their forced HIV testing. Along with learning about the situation in Tajikistan from the specifically prepared call for action (see below), participants posed with posters of support, demanding that forced HIV testing of sex workers in Tajikistan is stopped and that sex workers' rights in Tajikistan are respected. 

SWAN grievs losses of MH17 tragedy

Sex Worker Rights Advocacy Network deeply grieves the loss of more than 100 AIDS activists, researchers and health workers, who were on the MH 17 flight to Kuala Lumpur, bound to Melbourne to participate in the International AIDS 2014 Conference. At this incredibly sad time SWAN stands with its international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those, who have been lost to this tragedy.

Russian sex workers-led “Silver Rose” prepares appeal to the European Court of Human Rights


On 2 July the October District Court has ruled that the decision of the Russian Ministry of Justice’s to deny registration for Russia’s national organization of sex workers, Silver Rose, is valid. This is the last instance for appealing against lower court decisions in the Russian Federation.


In this column, SWAN News publishes articles that could 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.

Tips on Using the Media for Our Purposes
New approaches can be invaluable in sensitizing a hostile public or achieving a shift in the tone of the media coverage of sex workers. The most important factor in having good media relations and a fair coverage is to nurture good working relations with a group of journalists. But even insensitive journalists can be educated or „tamed”, if we can offer them something in return for their cooperation. More


Red Umbrella Fund's third call for applications, the first ever to provide two-year-grants to sex worker-led organisations and networks worldwide. To find out if your group is eligible for funding from the Red Umbrella Fund, please read the application guidelines.




NSWP Briefing Paper

Sex Work and the Law: Understanding Legal Frameworks and the Struggle for Sex Work Law Reforms

The briefing paper describes the different legislative frameworks used to criminalise and oppress sex work and sex workers, including oppressive regulatory frameworks. It also provides insight into the language and shared principles that NSWP members use when advocating for law reforms that respect and protect sex workers’ human and labour rights.

Read the paper in English here.


Common Human Rights Violations Experienced by Sex Workers
Prepared by Open Society Public Health Program, this document pairs common violations experienced by sex workers with relevant provisions of major human rights treaties. The violations included in this document were reported by European and Central Asian sex worker organizations and advocates, who are members of the Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN).
Download PDF file in English.
Download PDF file in Russian.


To Serve and Protect. How Police, Sex Workers and People Who Use Drugs are Joining Forces to Prevent HIV

Prepared by the Open Society Foundations

Quotes of the Month

“If you are independent, you are at the mercy of the police − they impose administrative fines on you or force you to have sex with them.”

— Nata, Ukrainian sex worker
Interview 2009

Picture of the Month

December 17, 2013 - Odyseus, Slovakia


OSI Public Health Program