The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) have organized a 3 days long Community Mobilization and Media training for sex workers that took place on December 5-8, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. There were 10 sex workers at the training, who came from the countries of SWAN region, majority of which do not have formal or informal groups of sex workers yet.
Action plus, Albania
17th of December International day to end violence against sex workers
17th of December is international day to end violence against sex workers. On that day sex workers their alias and the activists for human rights all around the world are getting together to call attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe.
On the occasion of the 17th of December Aksion Plus (A+) was invited to participate in a National Human Rights Debate. Two A+ staff and one transgender sex worker spoke about the issues that sex workers currently face, services that are offered and advocacy efforts to advance sex workers’ rights. In his power point, Genci Mucollari, the director of A+ presented, also discussed, the existing mechanisms that can be used enforce respect for the rights of the LGBT community in Albania. The following people also delivered speeches: the State Commissioner for Protection against Discrimination, representatives from LGBT community and Pink Embassy and journalists.
On Saturday, May 29, 2010 the third and final generation of SWAN groups participated in a training on media sensitizations in Tirana, Albania. Genci and Enkelejda of Aksion Plus were gracious hosts in their beautiful city. Representative from sex work projects from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro and Latvia participated in the one-day event which also brought together sex workers from Hungary, Albania and Bulgaria.
June 3, 2010
By Anna-Louise Crago
Over all the ethical breaches and problems surrounding media representation of sex workers echoed those of previous SWAN groups who did the media sensitization trainings. The fact that Hungary has a legalized system with tolerance zones contributed new dynamics and issues to think about.
Sex workers’ organizations across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia used the opportunity of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers to advocate SW’s rights. Below is a summary of the activities carried out be the organizations.
Albanian SWAN-member Aksion Plus have prepared the first national map on the sex work-scene in Albania. The findings are alarming.
The meeting brought together 32 participants from 16 countries with the aim to exchange experience, share problems and find solutions, renew and strengthen the partnership ties and get to know new network members better.
To mark December 17, the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, the Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia is releasing its new report, Arrest the Violence: Human Rights Violations Against Sex Workers in 11 Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The report is based on interviews with more than 200 male, female and transgender sex workers between 2007 and 2009 and chillingly documents widespread violence and discrimination against them, particularly by state actors.
According to Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch’s Health and Human Rights Division:
Arrest the Violence is the first piece of research done under the leadership of sex workers to document human rights violations they face across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Sex workers throughout the region report that they face verbal and physical abuse, including beatings, kidnapping, and sexual violence, by police and private citizens. Sex workers also report that police confiscated condoms as “evidence” of sex work, and subjected them to mandatory HIV testing.
These are not isolated incidents. The physical, sexual, and verbal violations of sex workers’ rights are part of a pattern of abuse by police and in the community that is documented throughout the region.
It is my sincere hope that this report will serve as a catalyst to awaken the broader human rights community to the importance of documenting and denouncing human rights abuses against sex workers, and working with sex workers to end these abuses.
To access the report, please follow the links below.
Questions or comments may be directed to SWAN@TASZ.HU.
Coordinator Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN)
July 2009, Tirana --- Aksion Plus, an Albanian NGO and SWAN member since 2006, worked in cooperation with one of the main media outlets in Tirana to publicize interviews and focus group discussions with sex workers.