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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

Serbia
By admin on Mar 14th, 2011

For this year’s December 17th action, JAZAS organized presentations and a viewing of the film ‘Invisibles” by 17-year old Nikola Polic at the REX cultural center. The film was made during 2010 at the drop-in center and hotspots, and features several sex workers and outreach workers. It presents personal stories of sex workers: how they think of themselves, how others view them and what they have suffered through whilst working.

Serbia
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.

Serbia
By Aliya on Jul 11th, 2010

On October 8th, 2009, JAZAS, opened a new drop-in center for sex workers funded by the Global Fund called “Center for Support”. The center’s main activities are: the provision of legal advice by the law team; assistance by the social support team in obtaining documents necessary for getting ID, health insurance and social insurance; self-support activities for participants; and the development of promotional materials. HIV counseling and testing are also available at the center. Sex worker peer educators have been active in implementing all the activities and working with clients of the services. Their first hand experience has proved invaluable in promoting the center’s activities among sex workers. So far more than 300 services have been provided to more than 80 clients. The project’s goal is to reach 200 clients in its first year.

Serbia
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.

Serbia
By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

The meeting brought together 32 participants from 16 countries with the aim to exchange experience, share problems and find solutions, renew and strengthen the partnership ties and get to know new network members better.

Serbia
By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

The Ohrid network meeting was preceded by an activists’ meeting. 18 sex worker activists turned the meeting room into an art workshop and a cafeteria to discuss issues and personal experience around sex work in their countries.

Serbia
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.

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

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Serbia
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.

Serbia
By Aliya on Jan 26th, 2009

Read article in Serbian

Serbia
By Aliya on Jan 26th, 2009

Read news in Serbian (source)

Serbia
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.

Serbia
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.

Serbia
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

Serbia
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

Serbia
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

Serbia
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
 

Serbia
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

Serbia
By Aliya on Feb 5th, 2008

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