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.
A joint campaign by Bulgarian NGOs is warning that by the end of 2015, Bulgaria will completely lose its HIV prevention services.
Sex workers, sex workers’ rights activists, groups and allies celebrated May 1 with various actions. SWAN members also joined the celebration, you can read more about actions that took place in Turkey, BiH, Bulgaria and Macedonia on May 1, 2015 below.
By Petra Timmermans, ICRSE Coordinator and Rayna Dimitrova, HESED
Recently in Bulgaria sex workers have taken the first tentative steps to mobilising for their rights.
On 29 August plans were put into place for a demonstration in response to recent police activity that has focused on arresting and detaining sex workers working along the main ring road around Sofia. Charges related to immoral behavior and/or causing traffic accidents are being used in what could be described as an attempt to rid Sofia of prostitutes. However, the demonstration did not take place as planned. Although around 20 sex workers showed up there were so many journalists taking photographs that most of the women became nervous and left.
"Godesses of Love" protest in Sofia.
Legalization of prostitution in the country. This was announced by a dozen prostitutes who gathered this afternoon on spontaneous protest in Sofia. They insist on a special law on prostitution, as they say in most Western countries. "
SOFIA, August 31, 2011 - Sex worker in Sofia protest current situation with sex work and police attitudes. Below is the news report from the Ring Road (in Bulgaria).
Translation of text coverage at http://tv7.bg/bodilnik/news/900052.html :
HESED initiated a number of activities to mark December 17th, starting with a meeting with local institutions and organisations to introduce them to the day and to sensitized them to ways of speaking about sex workers in order to reduce stigma against sex work and vulnerable groups. This is the second meeting on this issue organized by HESED, the first was on 17th December 2009 and it has now become a “tradition”.
From December 13th to 15th, Sofia, Bulgaria was host to the 22nd meeting of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Each year, the Global Fund holds a meeting away from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to offer delegates the opportunity to visit programs financed by the Global Fund. This was the first meeting held in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.
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.