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.