February - March 2013, Macedonian civil society organizations submitted two shadow reports to the 54-th CEDAW session, one of which reflected the issues of human rights violations of sex workers.
By Natasha Boshkova, Coalition for Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities Skopje
Individuals and groups from the CEE/CA, as well as other regions,were invited to submit testimony about the impact of different laws and HIV. SWAN submitted a submission that tried to include experiences from all across the region. Many other SWAN groups individually submitted such as HOPS (Macedonia), Lega-Life (Ukraine) and HESED (Bulgaria).
In the end, Odyseus (Slovakia), SZEXE (Hungary), TAIS PLUS (Kyrgyzstan), Association for Assistance (Russia) and SWAN were accepted to present in front of the commissioners at a regional meeting in Moldova in May, 2011.
With the generous help of the Open Society Foundation, presenters from the various groups including Katerina Jiresova, Irina Maslova, Gulnara Kurmanova, Mariann Bodzsar, Stasa Plecas from Serbia who was representing SWAN and Aliya and Anna-Louise from the SWAN network met in Chisinau, Moldova to strategize.
The group decided that the strongest strategy was to brainstorm 4 key issues as they affected groups across the region and to present as a block. One person per issue and one person to summarize and spell out the recommended actions groups were calling on the Commission to endorse.
Read the statement in English
Read the statement in Russian
SWAN-Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rights groups: Rights Not Violence for Sex Workers
December 17, Budapest– December 17th is International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers. This event was created to call attention to violence committed against sex workers all over the globe.
Sex workers’ rights groups and their allies in Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine are marking the occasion as part of a joint campaign with SWAN – the Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia - a network representing 19 organizations providing health and social services in 17 countries in the region. Actions across different countries will include marches of sex workers and allies, meetings with politicians and press conferences.
... "In 2010, the State, for the first time, legally recognized the existence of sex workers in Ukraine and cemented this fact in the domestic legislation. In particular, the Order № 3123/275/770 “On approval of standards for the provision of social services to representatives of risk groups”, which establishes the definition of “persons in sex business”, was signed by three ministers and the profile is registered with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. On November 1, this binding for all authorities of the legal act entered into force."...
Read whole Press-release in English here.
"By Us to Us"
Read a new issue of STAR newsletter dedicated to December 17 in Macedonian. PDF is available here.
(also available in PDF here)
Budapest, Hungary, December 17, 2010
On December 17, organizations and groups supporting human rights for sex workers will hold various events to bring public attention to the issues of violence and injustice towards sex workers and their families in Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.
One of the guests at the SWAN Network Meeting in Budapest was Petra Timmermans, Coordinator of the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE, www.sexworkeurope.org). The main goal of the Committee is to bring sex workers and their allies together on an international level so to further the social acceptance and respect for sex workers, to guarantee their civil rights, and to facilitate communication and advocacy against oppressive laws. Petra presented the Declaration of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe, one of the cornerstone documents on human rights for sex workers, adopted by more then 200 delegates participating at the European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labour and Migration held 15 to 17 October in the building of the European Parliament in Brussels.
The Sex Workers' Forum of Vienna has submitted a shadow report to the UN Committee Against Torture which is reviewing Austria's compliance with international agreements on preventing torture this April. Sex work in Austria is legal if sex workers are registered with authorities and undergo mandatory medical exams.