Historical/political snapshot (Wikipedia): Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world.
Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International
HIV/AIDS rates: according to UNAIDS number of people living with HIV in Russia in 2014 is 850,000-1,300,000 (0,6- 0,9%). According to HIV-center Russia there are 907.607 people living with HIV in Russia (as of 31.12.2014)
HIV prevalence among sex-workers: The prevalence of HIV infection among sex-workers in various cities ranged from 3.8% to 11.6% (2012). Around 15% of indoors sex-workers and more than 60% of outdoor sex-workers in St-Petersburg are HIV-positive (2015).
Legal situation around sex-work: It is illegal to sell sex and to organise commercial sex in any place.
The Code of Administrative Offences prohibits 'engagement in prostitution' (Article 6.1.1) and 'Deriving Income from Engagement in Prostitution, Where This Income Is Connected with Another Person's Engagement in Prostitution' (Article 6.12).
The Criminal Code makes it illegal to keep brothels and organise prostitution. (articles 240 and 241)
The laws are rarely used and there is a large, open sex industry in many parts of the country due to widespread police corruption.
In May 2013, Russia's national organization of sex workers, Silver Rose, was denied NGO registration by Russia's Ministry of Justice. The Ministry declared that 'there is no such profession as sex work, 'accusing Silver Rose of 'campaigning and propaganda inciting social, racial, national and or religious hatred and enmity' (Article 29 of the Constitution) and 'organization of prostitution".
Although there is no formal provision for mandatory medical examinations, sex workers have suggested that local police and health workers together create and enforce rules aimed at removing infected women from the sex industry.
It is not illegal to buy sex.
Services for sex-workers:
SWAN, within the Regional Platform EECA, has developed a video and community guide on the community’s engagement in Global Fund supported processes on the national level.
SWAN members from Poland, Macedonia, Russia, Turkey, Slovakia and Ukraine commemorated the 17th of December with different events.
Члены СВАН отметили 1 декабря, всемирный день борьбы со СПИДом, проведением различных мероприятий.
On 1st of December, The World AIDS Day, SWAN members celebrated with multiple activities.
Between 10 th -12 th November, 2016, in Budapest, Hungary, SWAN in collaboration with IWRAW Asia Pacific hosted a Regional Meeting to discuss follow-ups on Concluding Observations given by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) to 10 countries in the CEECA region - Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine.
The founder of Silver Rose Irina Maslova is one of the 14 women human rights defenders and groups featured by the Global Fund for Women in their campaign Women Human Rights DefendHer.
A regional training on the SWIT (Sex Worker Implementation Tool) took place in Budapest on 21-25 June 2016. Teams from 7 countries attended the training: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia. Among them were female, male and transgender sex workers.
During the night of 17th to 18th of May, Viacheslav Datsik and his supporters illegally raided a brothel (known as a “salon” in Russia) in St Petersburg where 10 sex workers were working. The salon was on the 11th Line of Vasilyevsky Island. He broke down the door and under the threat of beating the women working there he forced them to undress completely, and then took them to the police naked. He managed to carry out an attack on a similar establishment in central St Petersburg, but he was detained by the brothel’s security guards and was taken to the police station.
Silver Rose organized a strategic meeting of sex workers, which took place between the 11th and 14th of April, 2016 in Moscow. The topic of the meeting was "Community strengthening, access to prevention programs, and overcoming existing obstacles - joint actions". The strategic meeting was aimed at implementing the approach of meaningful participation, based on the need and importance of the participation of sex workers in matters relating to their health, life, safety, dignity and human rights.
Silver Rose is a sex worker-led organisation and member of NSWP and SWAN, representing sex workers and their allies. They bring together the leaders of the sex work community and their supporters. “We know what the problems of our community are and what are the solutions in the context of human rights and prevention of socially relevant diseases,” as stated on the Silver Rose website.
Creator and the chairwoman of the Union of artists and sex workers "Teresa" Vika Begalskaya together with the researcher of the Center for Independent Social Research Alexander Kondakov held an unusual study in St. Petersburg. They organized a survey on those who professionally provide sexual services, and the interviews were taken by sex workers themselves.
On December 17 SWAN members held different local actions to raise the awareness and commemorate International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) and NSWP have hosted a training on sex worker advocacy and the implementation of rights-based HIV/STI programmes in Budapest, Hungary. The participants - from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Georgia - discussed the barriers sex workers face when advocating for their rights and the possible solutions to these barriers based on the SWIT tool.
On December 1, 2015 a number of SWAN members joined the commemoration of the World AIDS Day.
On 16 - 18 september 2015 SHAGI Foundation organized and conducted a training for the employees and volunteers of the “Red Umbrella” project. The training was made in cooperation with humanitarian organization "Peace Doctors France" and "Silver Rose" movement.
The project is aimed at the prevention of HIV and STIs among sex workers (male and female). There are two main lines of work: service provision for target groups and sex workers community establishment.
An interview with Irina Maslova by Elena Derzhanskaya from Initiativa Pozitiva, an organization that deals with HIV/AIDS in Moldova.
Irina Maslova is a Chairwoman of the non-profit partnership of sex workers and their supporters "Silver Rose" as well as Chairman of the HIV / AIDS Coordinating Committee of the Russian Federation. A few weeks ago Irina came to Moldova to the meeting of the Global Fund Community Delegation. I had managed to make an interview with Ira, and after this my personal attitude to sex workers changed dramatically. I hope yours will change as well.
Due to the economic crisis and the unstable situation in Ukraine the number of women involved in prostitution increased in Russia. St.-Petersburg is leading in the number of relevant administrative records.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day has been held annually every third Sunday in May since 1983. On May 17, 2015 around 1200 organizations in 115 countries gathered to commemorate those who died from AIDS and to raise awareness about HIV. The official theme of the campaign worldwide was ‘Supporting the future’ dedicated to calling on the communities around the world to unite and demand a sustainable response to AIDS.
Even if you break the Administrative Code, it is not the reason to allow a crime against yourself.