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Country info

Historical/political snapshot (Wikipedia): Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a country situated at the crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans.

Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International

HIV/AIDS rates: According to UNAIDS the cumulative number of HIV-infected people reported till 31st December 2014 was 3128.

HIV prevalence among sex-workers: HIV seroprevalence among sampled sex workers in Belgrade was almost the same in 2013 compared with results obtained in 2012 (1.6% versus 2%) (UNAIDS)

Legal situation around sex work: Sex work is illegal in Serbia, although being a client of a prostitute was not a criminal offense utill 2016.

In 2016 the penalties for sex work were increased. If arrested, both clients and sex workers are punished with up to 60 days in prison or fines up to 150 000 RSD (approximately 1300 EUR).

Services for sex workers:

Sex workers' movement: There is a sex worker-led organization Sloboda Prava, where sex workers are decision makers and staff.

Latest news

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2009

Dear all:

To mark December 17, the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers, the Sex Workers' Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia is releasing its new report, Arrest the Violence: Human Rights Violations Against Sex Workers in 11 Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The report is based on interviews with more than 200 male, female and transgender sex workers between 2007 and 2009 and chillingly documents widespread violence and discrimination against them, particularly by state actors.

According to Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch’s Health and Human Rights Division:

Arrest the Violence is the first piece of research done under the leadership of sex workers to document human rights violations they face across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Sex workers throughout the region report that they face verbal and physical abuse, including beatings, kidnapping, and sexual violence, by police and private citizens. Sex workers also report that police confiscated condoms as “evidence” of sex work, and subjected them to mandatory HIV testing.
These are not isolated incidents. The physical, sexual, and verbal violations of sex workers’ rights are part of a pattern of abuse by police and in the community that is documented throughout the region.
It is my sincere hope that this report will serve as a catalyst to awaken the broader human rights community to the importance of documenting and denouncing human rights abuses against sex workers, and working with sex workers to end these abuses.

To access the report, please follow the links below.
Questions or comments may be directed to SWAN@TASZ.HU.

Aliya Rakhmetova
Coordinator Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN)


By Aliya on Jun 22nd, 2009

Recently JAZAS’ self-support group facilitators and 6 sex workers went to the theater in April to watch the play “Suma blista” (Wondrous forest) which touches upon issues of trafficking and prostitution. The daughter of one of the facilitators acts in the play, and they thought it would be a great idea to arrange for sex workers to come and see the play.

By Aliya on Jan 26th, 2009

Read article in Serbian

By Aliya on Jan 26th, 2009

Read news in Serbian (source)

By Aliya on Jan 26th, 2009

Numerous media outlets in Serbia analyzed in December problems of human rights violations and violence against sex workers. This year sex workers for the first time ever participated in the campaign.

By Aliya on Jan 26th, 2009

December 17 campaign sparked media interest in the situation sex workers experience in other countries in the region. Several Serbian media noted the red umbrella march and exhibition in Skopje and commented on forced STI testing action in November.  Macedonian media on their side reported about issues sex workers face in Albania.

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2008

A day after a Belgrade tabloid published a front-page story entitled “American whore to teach Serbian students” organizers cancelled the round table discussion that was supposed to take place at the faculty of Philosophy of the Belgrade University. The article and the ban caused a heated public debate and generally positive media articles about sex work and the particular case. More

By Aliya on Dec 15th, 2008

Here are some of the echoes of the cancelled event in Belgrade, among them by Professor Viktorija Cucic of JAZAS, SWAN member from Belgrade and Vinaigrette, one of the sex workers who were to participate at the round table. 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

By Aliya on Sep 18th, 2008

In end of September this year JAZAS, SWAN member from Serbia, will organize training sessions and assist in preliminary mapping of hot- spots in two smaller towns in Serbia – Subotica and Sombor. This will be first steps towards extending sex worker outreach services outside the Serbian capital. More

By Aliya on Feb 5th, 2008
By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

Declaration of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe, one of the cornerstone documents on human rights for sex workers, adopted by more then 200 delegates participating at the European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labour and Migration held 15 to 17 October 2005 in the European Parliament in Brussels, is now available in Serbian, thanks to the Jazas, SWAN Member from Serbia. More

By olga on Aug 1st, 2006

Association against AIDS – JAZAS, the SWAN member from Serbia, worked together with the Serbian Ministry of Interior to prepare a series of seminars under the title “Prevention of HIV/STI among Sex Workers”. The seminars are being organized during September and October in several main police stations in Belgrade, with an aim to sensitize law enforcement agency to the health issues surrounding street sex work. The interest seems to be huge, at the first workshop there were almost 100 participants. JAZAS prepared a new curricula for this two-day long event, using its own and experiences from abroad. “We are targeting police units that work on the street” – says Ana Krajnc, JAZAS Communications Officer – “We aim to engage the law enforcement agency to develop sensible and effective policies by considering health issues surrounding sex work. Sex work is illegal in Serbia and for example, condoms have often been used as an evidence material against sex workers.”

Contac Person: Ana Krajnc, JAZAS, Serbia
Email Address: krajnca@hotmail.com
Website: www.jazas.net

By Asel on Dec 3rd, 2005


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