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Country info

Country infromation: Macedonia, (Македонија, officially the Republic of Macedonia - Република Македонија) is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe.

Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International

Number of sex workers: 2200- 3600 according to the estimation made in 2010 by the Institute for public heath.

HIV/AIDS rates: There have been registered 239 cases of HIV/AIDS until the end of February 2014.

HIV rates among sex workers: 0% as of August 2015.

Legal situation around sex work: Individual sex work in public spaces is illegal, it is an administrative offense and it is regarded as a violation against the public order (art. 19 from the Law on misdemeanors against the public order and peace). The same article states that it is punishable by a fine to provide (rent) space for an act of prostitution. Also the same law defines among others restaurants and hotels as public spaces, so their owners can be punished for providing space for sex work.

The Criminal Law (Art. 191, year 1996) punishes:

  • the crimes that aim at procuring, encouragement, earning by facilitating the provision of sexual services;
  • human trafficking;
  • involvment of underaged in sex industry.

There is no regulation about renting an appartment to a sex worker.

There is no law that punishes clients. Still, any person can be punished under the Law on misdemeanors for having sex in a public place. Practically, police targets only sex workers.

Services in country: Services for sex workers are only provided by the civil sector and those services are in major part sponsored by the GF through the Ministry of Health. Sex workers have access to

  • social services (support for implementing social and health rights),
  • legal services (free legal support for addressing violations of rights and strategic court litigation),
  • health services (free gynecological services, condoms and lubricants, free STI medications, VCT),
  • services from psychotherapist (for overcoming burn out, dealing with effects from experienced violence),
  • services from pedagogue (for supporting the children of sex workers),
  • outreach activities, direct services in Drop-in center (laundry machines, showers, hot meal),
  • peer educations,
  • creative workshops,
  • educational workshops,
  • services from stylist/peer educator.

Most of the funding for the services for sex workers comes from the GF with its final round until 2016.

Sex workers’ movement: STAR-STAR is a formal civil society organization lead from sex workers positioning as the first sex workers collective on the Balkans with its Executive Board comprised of 100% sex workers.

Latest news

Macedonia
By maria on May 6th, 2015

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.

Macedonia
By Aliya on Oct 7th, 2014

On 25-26 September 2014 HOPS-Healthy Options Project Skopje in Macedonia conducted a training for 14 police officers on the British Merseyside 'Ugly Mugs Scheme' aimed at protecting sex workers from violent offenders through cooperation with police. 

Macedonia
By admin on Dec 18th, 2013

A video address of a Macedonian sex worker on December 17.

Macedonia
By admin on Dec 17th, 2013

"Stop violence against sex workers" 

New video from HOPS Macedonia, talking about the significance of 17th of December and demanding to stop violence against sex workers.

HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje, in cooperation with the Civil Initiative for the advancement and promotion of the rights of sex workers STAR - STAR Skopje, has produced this video to promote the International Day to End Violence against sex workers and to promote their rights.

Macedonia
By admin on May 2nd, 2013

February - Marh 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. The first one was prepared and submitted by the Association ESE (http://www.esem.org.mk/Root/mak/default_mak.asp) and Akcija Zdruzneska and the second was submitted by Roma Center Skopje. The Coalition for Sexual and Health rights of marginalized communities Skopje (Coalition) gave contribution in the preparation of the shadow report of Association ESE and Akcija Zdruzneska regarding the situation of female members of marginalized communities such as sex workers, drug users, lesbian, bisexual women and transgender. The representative of the Coalition took part in the informal meeting with the Committee and in lunch briefing with experts, members of the Committee in Geneva. Read background article here: http://swannet.org/node/2157

Macedonia
By admin on May 2nd, 2013

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

Macedonia
By admin on Sep 26th, 2011

In September issue read about:

-10 things which you need to do this month. One of them is: Be a fighter- fight for your rights, fight for your success, fight for the things which make you happy, fight for the happiness of your loved ones)
- prostitution in the temples
- Women's baths and houses during the Old Roman Empire
- Terminology (bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, inter-sexual, homophobia ext.)
- Sex therapy
- Happy birthday Virgo!

Use online translation to understand Macedonian STAR newsletter  :)

Macedonia
By admin on Jun 30th, 2011

In this issue read:
*STAR opens its new office to involve more sex workers
*Find out the meaning of the terms sex worker and sex work
*Confession of a sex worker (an interview with a Serbian sex worker who works in Vienna.
Read in Macedonian

Macedonia
By admin on Mar 15th, 2011

by Borce

In light of the International Day to end the violence against sex workers, the red umbrella was symbolically opened for the fourth time in the capital city of Macedonia. Sex workers and their supporters actively participated in the event organized by the Association for Support of Marginalized Workers STAR-STAR.

Macedonia
By admin on Mar 15th, 2011

by Marija

This year HOPS marked the International day to End Violence against Sex Workers in several regions in Macedonia – Skopje, the capital, but also Gostivar, Strumica and Ohrid where mixed teams of sex workers and other professionals work together on service provision for HOPS. Most of the activities were community-oriented, in order to get sex workers familiar with the importance of this day in regions that marked it for the first time, to provoke discussion about violence and the situation in their local environments, but also to engage sex workers in joint creative and fun activities that they can enjoy.

Macedonia
By admin on Mar 7th, 2011

By Marija Tosheva, HOPS, Macedonia

On July 20, 2010, the second day of Vienna conference, SWAN organized an oral session on Sex work, mobility, migration and human rights in Europe and Central Asia. 6 experienced activists from the region, members of SWAN and TAMPEP networks, had a chance in front of an excellent audience to challenge and start a discussion on vulnerabilities and structural barriers faced by mobile and migrant sex workers to better health and human rights.

Macedonia
By admin on Mar 7th, 2011

By Marija Tosheva, HOPS, Macedonia

Healthy Options Project Skopje (HOPS, Macedonia) became the recipient of the 2010 International Award for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, presented by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Human Rights Watch. The award, which recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that protect the rights and dignity of people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, was presented in Vienna on July 20, 2010, at the XVIII International AIDS Conference.

Macedonia
By admin on Mar 7th, 2011

July 18-23, Vienna, Austria – This year sex workers and allies from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia had a chance to talk about barriers and issues that sex workers face in their countries, to show what groups and organizations have achieved in addressing the pandemics and violations in their region. The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) was represented by 11 activists from Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia and Montenegro, a team of young and energetic volunteers from Odyseus, Slovakia and a performance group from Bliss without Risk, Czech Republic.

Macedonia
By admin on Feb 3rd, 2011

Read January issue From Us to Us, by STAR sex workers' activist team of Macedonia. This issue features December 17 action in Macedonia, female condoms, sex workers' rights and more. Here..

Macedonia
By Aliya on Dec 17th, 2010

On the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers STAR-STAR, the Macedonian organization advocating for the rights of marginalized professions, invites everyone to take part in the march of red umbrellas as a gesture of support for the rights of sex workers.

Macedonia
By Aliya on Dec 17th, 2010

"От нас, для нас"
Читайте новый выпуск газеты STAR, посвященный 17 декабря. На македонском языке в PDF формате здесь.

Macedonia
By Aliya on Dec 17th, 2010

"By Us to Us"
Read a new issue of STAR newsletter dedicated to December 17 in Macedonian. PDF is available here.

Macedonia
By Aliya on Jul 11th, 2010

Marija Tosheva of HOPS, SWAN representative in Macedonia, shares her opinion about the IHRA and sex work-related issues.

Macedonia
By Aliya on Jul 11th, 2010

This April 1st, fierce and fabulous STAR leaders Laura Feer and Tina made a spontaneous action for their rights. This action was all Laura and Tina, no donors, no organizations, just a fabulous idea and the guts to make it happen!

Macedonia
By Aliya on Apr 12th, 2010

Sex workers’ organizations across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia used the opportunity of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers to advocate SW’s rights. Below is a summary of the activities carried out be the organizations.

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