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Romania: December 17, Press-release

By ARAS and ARADOR-CH

Press Release
For the end of violence against sex workers in Romania

December 17th is the day when organizations all over the world advocate for the end of violence against sex workers.
ARAS and APADOR-CH, non-governmental organizations in the field of health, respectively human rights presented the first study in Romania aimed on identifying abuses against these women.
Night by night, women facing social and medical vulnerability are confronting injuries, penalties, condom confiscation, physical aggression, rapes. Some of these actions are legal, others are violations of the law.

The research included 173 sex workers (sample selected among out of more then 600 current beneficiaries of the prevention services delivered by ARAS) and revealed that:

  • 34% of them had been given a fine during the previous night, of an average of 125 euro;
  • 32% had no more condoms because these had been confiscated by those defending the public order (but not the public health);
  • 7% had been forced by the Police representatives to go to the hospital to be tested (during la the last year - 2011)
  • 48% suffered physical violence during the last year;
  • 37% had been forced to sexual relationships, 5% being raped ( in the last 12 months).

The sources of these acts of aggression are clients, pimps and representatives of public order.
The study is the first step in requesting an opinion of sex workers regarding sex work legalization:

  • 71% want the decriminalisation of the prostitution;
  • 46% want pimps to be punished
  • 60% do not want punishment for the clients.

Experiences of other countries show that punishing sex workers or clients lead to hiding the phenomenon and rise of the number of abuses. At the same time, abuses and discrimination aggravated the social and medical problems of the sex workers.

This study was developed on voluntary bases by the two non-governmental organizations.

ARAS - Asociatia Romana Anti SIDA

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