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Video from the SZEXE's 15th Anniversary Celebration

The video snapshot of the 15th anniversary of Association of Hungarian Sex Workers (SZEXE) that took place on September 17, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary.

Below you can find the trasncript of the video in English:

Ágnes Földi, Director, Association of Hungarian Sex Workers

SZEXE15 years ago the history of prostitution, sex work has started from the this same place. I believe we are still on the same level as 15 years ago, 15 years have passed and not a single tolerance zone has  been designated while the sex workers are being constantly punished. Today the Association is celebrating its 15th birthday, and that is why we are, of course, remembering that in 15 years nothing has happened.

Boglárka Fedorkó, Communications Officer, Association of Hungarian Sex Workers

Huge volume violence effects sex workers, we are registering an incredibly great number of cases. In the last 15 years the members of the Association have gone through and  seen terrible human tragedies themselves.  A lot of times we saw that we were not able to help. It would not have been a problem if there had been other people able to help these people [sex workers]. But there is nobody.

Stasa Plecase, Executive Director, SWAN

It's not a local problem, it's a regional problem that sex workers are not acknowledged as workers, sex workers don't have basic human rights, they are marginalized and vulnerable community that experiences a lot of violence and human rights abuses. This is true not for the entire region but also globally.

We do not receive enough support, there is no medical check-up, we need to figure out ourselves how to arrange our private medical check-ups. There was a Screening Station Bus, but we have not received any support for it. The situation with prostitution is chaotic and hopeless in my opinion.

Dr. Klaudia Makó, Lawyer, SZEXE's legal help

We know more such sex workers who spend 1-2 years in custody for misdemeanor, for such minor offence that practically they are not even responsible for, only because of bad legal regulations and lack of proper local governmental regulations. Even I was surprised to find out that there are still such a police and a court employees who believe that the law still prohibits sex work.

Maria Morozova, Communications Officer, SWAN

The most problems that sex workers have to face is stigma around. Sex workers are not seen as human beings. In many cases, e.g., if a sex worker comes to the police and says “I was robbed, I was raped”, they say: “It's your fault because of your job”. So, the problem with sex workers is that their activity is so much stigmatized that they cannot even really have any basic human rights because of that.

To get employed? I have a lot of certificates, from different educational courses and it is still hard [to find job]. I am 59 y.o. With 2 diplomas, 2 higher education certificates, “only those should throw the first stone at me” who tell me to go and work in a Tesco to pack products for 70.000 HUF [233 euro] per month. I am sorry, I am not going.

Not everyone wants to openly admit that they are sex workers, e.g. those who still go to school (college or university), who are mothers and have kids or families.

I'd rather not and others would neither openly admit that we are working as a sex workers. We don't brag about the fact that we make a living of this among friends and families.

We would like to thank the media that in the last 15 years wrote and scribbled (wrote in a slipshod manner) a lot of good and a lot of bad about sex workers and about prostitutes. We trust that in the next 15 years they will learn to write rather than scribble and they (can) learn the proper language for communication that would be a better approach to sex workers.

Association of Hungarian Sex Workers

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