SWAN members from Poland, Macedonia, Russia, Turkey, Slovakia and Ukraine commemorated the 17th of December with different events.
Kemalita Ördek, the executive director of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association, a transgender sex worker and human rights activist, was violently attacked by 3 criminals in her house in Ankara in July 2015. All 3 attackers were found guilty and sentenced.
SWAN wrote a submission to UN Women regarding their consultation on "sex work, sex trade and prostitution"
A regional training on the SWIT (Sex Worker Implementation Tool) took place in Budapest on 21-25 June 2016. Teams from 7 countries attended the training: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia. Among them were female, male and transgender sex workers.
The UNAIDS 2016-2021 strategy is calling for decriminalisation of sex work, same sex acts, HIV transmission, and drug use.
SWAN is glad to present the new Community of Learning website: www.sexworkersrightscommunity.org. Community of Learning is a library/repository of knowledge, information and resources on successful advocacy tactics to defend sex workers' rights.
Our colleagues from Toronto developed some necessary framework shifts in talking about exploitation of migrant sex workers, based on the document from the USA about Reconceptualizing Approaches to Human Trafficking. Through the outreach work with migrant workers in Toronto, and decade of dedication to sex worker organizing in Hong Kong - here are some necessary framework shifts in talking about exploitation of migrant sex workers, that can be used when working with media.
The Association of Hungarian Sex Workers recently represented Hungarian sex workers at the 54th Session of CEDAW, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in Geneva, in February 2013. By using the submission of a shadow report and active advocacy at the session , the Association achieved a landmark success in its history: the Committee recommended that the Hungarian government ‘adopt measures aimed at preventing discrimination against sex workers and ensure that legislation on their rights to safe working conditions is guaranteed at national and local levels’.
“Why Do They Take Our Condoms, Do They Want Us to Die?”
by Rachel Thomas, Public Health Program, OSI
Several years ago a sex worker in Macedonia told me that she'd had condoms with her when she was taken into custody by law enforcement, and that the police refused to return her money or condoms when she was released. It was late, and home was too far away to walk, so she had unprotected sex with a client in order to afford the bus. Over the years, I've heard similar stories from sex workers around the world. Criminalizing Condoms, a 6-country report released today by the Open Society Foundations, documents the legal and illegal confiscation of condoms by police and the grave repercussions on sex workers' lives and health.
By Titania Kumeh
Asked if he’s ever felt exploited as a sex worker, Will Rockwell—the 24-year-old editor-in-chief of the sex worker-operated magazine $pread—replies, "Yes, by the media. Every interview we do is twisted for the purposes of sensationalistic propaganda, whether it's the conservative New York Post jerking itself off over the Spitzer scandal or Ms. Magazine fantasizing about female victimhood and applying it in broad strokes to people they never really cared to know, and certainly never offered a helping hand free of judgment and surveillance." He says the sensationalist and often stereotype-ridden depictions of sex workers—prostitutes, exotic dancers, dominatrices, phone-sex operators, and people who engage in informal forms of transactional sex—by media outlets sparked the 2005 creation of $pread, the country’s only magazine developed by and for sex workers.