Historical/political snapshot (Wikipedia): Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km2, making it the largest wholly European country and the second largest country in Europe.
Human Rights 2015: an overview by Amnesty International
HIV/AIDS rates: 290.000 HIV positive people as of 2014, prevalence rate among adults aged 15 to 49 is 1,2% (UNAIDS)
HIV prevalence among sex workers: 7,3% according to "Alliance".
Legal situation around sex work: Sex work is an administrative offense.
Under the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses sex work is punished either by a warning or a fine of 5 to 10 untaxed minimum income of citizens (85 to 170 UAH), and if a person is caught doing sex work for the second time within a year, then the fine is 8 to 15 untaxed minimum income of citizens (136 to 255 UAH).
Purchase of sexual services is not prohibited.
The Criminal code punishes:
- creating or maintaining of a brothel and pandering (Art. 302): a fine up to 50 untaxed minimum income of citizens or restraint of freedom for up to 2 years. If commited for profit / by a previously convicted person / by an organized group - restraint of freedom or imprisonment for up to 5 years. If commited to a minor - imprisonment for 2 to 7 years.
- pimping or coercion into prostitution (Art. 303): imprisonment for 3 to 5 years. If commited with several persons / repeatedly / with a previous agreement among several p[eople / by an official / by a person from whom a victim was dependant - imprisonment for 4 to 7 years. If commited to a minor / by a group - imprisonment for 5 to 10 years and confiscatino of property. If commited to a minor or with aggreviating circumstances - imprisonment for 8 to 15 years and confiscation of property.
- human trafficking is punished by imprisonment for 3 to 8 years or in case of aggreviating circumstances - imprisonment for 5 to 12 and 8 to 15 years with confiscation of property.
Services for sex-workers: In Ukraine, in 2011, HIV and STI prevention services for sex workers were provided by 54 NGOs in all regions of the country. Every client is offered a basic package of services. In 2010, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine piloted a peer - driven intervention project for HIV prevention among sex workers, which aimed to reach new groups of sex workers, identify their nee ds for services, raise awareness of HIV an d provide quality HIV and STI counselling and testing. The intervention was scaled up to seven sites, reaching 2 700 women engaged in sex work by September 2011. In January 2012, five new peer - driven interventions were launched. This approach has enabled N GOs to reach new sub - groups of sex workers including those working in apartments and other hard - to - reach places, those aged 14 - 18 years and those working through the internet. More than half of the project clients were aged below 25 years, the sub - group of sex workers most vulnerable to HIV and STI.
SWAN members marked the International Sex Workers’ Rights Day on 3rd of March and the International Women's’ Day on 8 of March.
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.
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.
Open Society Foundations have examined sex worker-led programs that protect health and rights and have published a detailed and thoughtful report. The report describes programs in 5 countries: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa. SWAN members from Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, All-Ukrainian Charitable Organization «LEGALIFE-UKRAINE» and Tais Plus, took part in the report.
All-Ukrainian Charitable Organization «LEGALIFE-UKRAINE» from Kirovograd held a press conference on 4th of October 2016 on the topic of "The positive and negative sides of decriminalising prostitution in Ukraine".
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.
On December 17 SWAN members held different local actions to raise the awareness and commemorate International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
Sex Workers Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN) mourns the sudden and untimely loss of Elena Tsukerman, the leader of Charitable Organization “All-Ukrainian League “Legalife”, who passed away on December 13 in Kyiv.
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 September 18, 2015 an MP registered a draft law on the legalization of sex work in Ukraine in the Supreme Council of Ukraine without consulting with sex workers.
As Amnesty International adopted policy on decriminalization of sex work, the police keeps on busting more places in Kyiv where sex work is done, and more politicians and authorities start discussing legalization of sex work in Ukraine, this topic gets more public attention nowadays.
On August 3, 2015, Kirovograd oblast branch charitable organization "All-Ukrainian League «Legalife»" made changes in its name and its statute documents, hence became an independent organization.
On 7-9 of June 2015 the All-Ukrainian League "LEGALIFE" held the training in Kiev on team building and leadership for activists of the young initiative sex workers' groups from the regions.
Ukrainian National TV channel 24 visited Elena Tsukerman from All-Ukrainian League “Legalife” in Kiev, made a 1,5 hours interview, the journalists discussed serious topics with Elena, and they even tried to dig deeply in these topics. As a result, they have made a 4 minutes long video on the topic of legalization of sex work in Ukraine. You can see the video (in Ukrainian and Russian) here. You can read the transcript of the video in English, as well as Elena’s comments below.
June 17-18, 2015, Kyiv: UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund in Ukraine) in cooperation with the League "LEGALIFE" conducted a training on building awareness of sex workers on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) prevention and their familiarization with WHO/UNFPA/NSWP/World Bank advocated approaches to implementation of clinical and support services packages for sex workers
The money from this activity, in the case of legalization will replenish the state budget, according to the MP.
An interview of Elena Tsukerman to Dafna Rachok and "Politychna Krytyka (Political Critique)" online magazine about "Legalife" and on situation of sex workers in Ukraine
This information was shared by a number of mass media in Ukraine and Russia. Below, you can find an article by “Korrespondent”, comments by the representatives of All-ukrainian League ‘Legalife’ and further investigation by “Road Patrol”