The Association of Hungarian Sex Workers (SZEXE) was founded in 2000, soon after prostitution became legal in Hungary. The NGO started to work first as an interest representation of women sex workers at disadvantage, and in 2002, homo- and transsexual sex workers joined also the association. SZEXE aims at protecting sex workers’ rights and helping sex workers willing to quit to spend as little time in prostitution as possible. In order to achieve these aims, SZEXE runs a free legal aid service and a 24-hours hot-line, provides assistance and counselling in health and social issues, promotes safer sex, implements training projects for unqualified sex workers and advocates for respect for sex workers’ rights. Recently, SZEXE (with state support and cooperation) started to operate a mobile HIV & STI testing unit.
- emergency & assistance hot-line 24h a day
- information and prevention campaigns (safer sex, unwanted pregnancies)
- condom distribution among sex workers
- legal aid service: consultancy with and representation by lawyers free of charge (sex workers can be accused of minor offences if their health certificate is out of date or if they stand in a protected area of the city, or outside the so-called „tolerance zones”), provision of informational leaflets about citizens’ rights and about the limits of police powers. The legal aid service currently represents sex workers in civil, minor offence and penal procedures.
- legal advocacy: strategic litigation and lobbying for a more appropriate legal environment and a human rights respectful attitude from law inforcement institutions
- social help: helping sex workers in applications and procedures so that they get support from local authorities
- training for unskilled sex workers willing to quit
PROTECT YOURSELF! Project (safer sex, HIV&STI prevention)
Labour Market Reintegration of Women, funded by the Ministry of Labour and Employment
Legal trainings for sex workers and for police staff, funded by DG Jsutice, Freedom and Security (European Commission)