Facebook page of SWAN Twitter page of SWAN RSS feeds

site available in english and russian

  • English
  • Russian

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

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2008

More then 30 sex workers, clients, mediators and one social worker from HOPS, SWAN member from Macedonia, detained in a massive raid; involuntary STI tests performed; civil society says human rights seriously violated

Coalition for Protection and Promotion of Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities (HOPS, HERA, MASSO, MHRN, STAR, IZBOR) excoriates the last “coordinated action for suppression of street prostitution” of the Office of Interior (SVR), Skopje, Macedonia, and finds serious indications of severe procedural mistakes, misuse of official activity and flagrant violence of the basic human and health rights of the persons (sex workers) detained, as well as their direct discrimination on the ground of their work as sex workers on open scene. More

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2008

SWAN members have sent letters of protest to Macedonian government. But your support is also needed. Please download the letter of support here, put your logo, sign, and fax or email to the listed officials. Thank you!

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2008

Here is what the Coalition for protection and promotion of sexual and health rights of marginalized communities has done so far in the follow-up of the action by the Macedonian police. More

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2008

November 23, 2008 – “Maybe the NGOs think that the revolt of the citizens is irrelevant, and it is “normal” to offer oral sex to a 15-year old, for a certain amount of money” – is only one of the questions raised in the official statement by the Macedonian Ministry of Interior, published on their web site and released to the Media on November 28. More

By Aliya on Dec 10th, 2008

Sex workers in Skopje, capital of Macedonia, issued this winter first two numbers of a community newsletter entitled “From us to us”. More

By Aliya on Dec 10th, 2008

In the latest issue of the SWAN News we wrote about the seminar on sex work organized in September for media reporters in Slovakia. In the meantime, similar seminars were organized in November in Macedonia and Serbia. More

By Aliya on Sep 18th, 2008

In June this year sex workers from Macedonia and Serbia participated at training in Belgrade where basic skills are developed for preparation of community newsletters. Preparations are underway among sex workers in those two countries to voice their issues, pride and concerns in publications targeting their own local community. More