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Country info

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.

Sex-workers' movement:

Latest news

By Aliya on Dec 16th, 2009

Interview with Nata from Ukraine,who is involved in Lega-life,  the Ukrainian National Network of Sex Workers about her experiences of working in Moscow, Russia as a migrant sex worker. 

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.

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.

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

May 26-27, 2009, Kiev – Sex workers initiative group "League LEGALIFE” got together with the support of UHRA, SWAN representative in Ukraine, and International AIDS/HIV Alliance in Ukraine. Representatives of five major regions of Ukraine met in Kiev to discuss the perspectives of the League, its further development, strategic plans and potential problems. More…

By Aliya on Mar 26th, 2009

Zerkalo Nedeli, Ukraine
Statement of the National Expert Commission on public morals and All-Ukrainian Council of Churches address NGOs, GOs and citizens of Ukraine
Ukraine, January, 2009 – The more challenging life becomes, the better jokes it plays on us… In December 2008, the National Expert Commission on public morals signed a memorandum on cooperation with the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations. He participants issues a joint address to state and non-governmental organizations and Ukrainian citizens with a call change the situation with morals in their country. The document starts with: "The analysis shows that morals in Ukrainian society are in a really poor state in comparison to the existing examples of morals in human civilization.” The question is what examples of “human civilization” do they refer to? The norms of Victorian England of last century? Or the norms of Antique Greece or Rome? Read the whole article in Russian here.

By Aliya on Jan 27th, 2009

Киев. 17 декабря. УНИАН. Сегодня, 17 декабря, во второй раз в Украине и шестой раз в мире отмечается Международный день против насилия по отношению к секс-работникам.

By Aliya on Jan 27th, 2009

17 декабря 2008 - 17 декабря в мире отмечается Международный день против насилия по отношению к работникам секс-индустрии.

Об этом на пресс-конференции в УНИАН сообщил руководитель программ политики и адвокации Международного Альянса по ВИЧ/СПИД в Украине Павел Скала.

By Aliya on Jan 27th, 2009

18.12.08  Татьяна ГРАДОБЛЯНСКАЯ.

Вчера в Украине отметили Международный день против насилия по отношению к секс-работникам. Последних сегодня, по разным экспертным оценкам, в нашей стране насчитывается от 110 до 250 тысяч.

By Aliya on Jan 27th, 2009

Лидеры отечественных организаций секс-работников призвали общество относиться с уважением к их работе, и предупредили, что из-за финансового кризиса их «армия» увеличится.

By Aliya on Jan 27th, 2009

UHRA, SWAN member from Ukraine organized a media campaign and press conference to mark the campaign. "We do not demand special rights for sex workers. We demand provision of basic constitutional rights and freedoms and an end to violence," said Irina Mishina of UHRA.

By Aliya on Jan 22nd, 2009

On December 20 the city mayor of Kiev Leonid Chernoveckiy stated in a popular TV show that human rights of Ukrainian prostitutes are routinely violated: they pay kickbacks to the police, gangsters and MPs; they are mistreated, beaten, and raped. So, he said, a trade union of prostitutes should be established to protect their rights and give them moral and legal support.

By Aliya on Dec 19th, 2008

17 December, Press-conference.

Kyiv, Ukraine: Irina Mishina from UHRA, SWAN member in Ukraine: "We do not demand some kind of special rights for sex workers. We demand provision of basic constitutional rights and freedoms and end to violence".

By Aliya on Dec 19th, 2008

A review of press-conference by independent journalist

 ...Among the invited were heads of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economics and Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. They were invited, but... for some reason they didn't show up. One ministry said that they had sent the invitation letter to be processed and ... it is still being processed. Anothr ministry did not react at all. Law enforcement representatives stressed that they are ready to provide statistics, but not their representatives for the press-conference. More

By Aliya on Dec 10th, 2008

Source: DPA -- Ukrainian law enforcers are attempting to dampen growing prostitution by writing unpleasant notes to the parents of arrested streetwalkers, the Sehodnia newspaper reports. More

By Aliya on Dec 10th, 2008

Talking about the ongoing preparations for the UEFA Euro Soccer Championship that will take place in 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, Ukrainian Minister of Public Health Vasiliy Knizaiewicz recently stated that he supports legalization of prostitution. More

By Aliya on Sep 18th, 2008

Жители Киева уже привыкли к демонстрациям разного рода, но такого они на Майдане еще не видели. Около 50 женщин, одетых как проститутки, собрались на центральной площади столицы и стали вести шумные, развязные беседы друг с другом. Затем, как по команде, они преобразились: завлекающе размахивая перед прохожими долларовыми банкнотами, они подняли вверх плакаты, надписи на которых гласили: "Украина – не бордель!". Далее
By Aliya on Mar 13th, 2008


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