Today, 2nd of June, sex workers and their allies celebrate the International Sex Workers’ Day. On this day in 1975, after massive police reprisals, about 100 sex workers and their supporters occupied Saint-Nizier Church in Lyon, France, protesting against their criminalised and exploitative working conditions, discrimination and abuse by law enforcement.
Watch the video to find out how the police is treating sex workers in Hungary, and the important work SZEXE does to protect the rights of sex workers.
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.
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.
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.
The French Parliament passed a bill on the 6th of April, 2016 which makes it illegal to pay for sex in France. Selling sex remains legal. The bill passed 64 to 12 in the National Assembly, France’s lower house, with 501 deputies abstaining from the vote.
Under the new law those who pay for sex will face fines of up to 1,500 Euros for the first offence, and up to 3,750 Euros for subsequent offences. They may also be required to attend a stigmatising course to raise awareness of the harms of ‘prostitution’. The law on “public solicitation” has been abolished.