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Serbia-Macedonia: SWAN sex worker training on community media

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

SWAN News was one of the first projects to start once the SWAN network was created in 2006. Over the years the newsletter has been constantly growing, new columns were introduced and distribution expanded.

But although in 2007 SWAN News launched Sex Workers’ Report as a column that provides sex workers with an opportunity to express their opinions, and tell each other about their lives, problems and dreams, SWAN News are still targeting mostly international policy makers in public health and human rights fields. As such, the SWAN News is focused on global and international and/or SWAN network issues and news, and not on local, community level.

When in end of 2007 we discussed strategic development of the SWAN Network in 2008, we realized that there is a huge communication need in the local community that can not be filled by SWAN News. Sex workers need a medium to exchange information about police raids, bad customers, community events, or to publish their poetry, information about local legislation, local campaigns, etc.

The training in Belgrade was first step in that direction. As a result of the Belgrade seminar, members of the Star, a sex worker group from Skopje, supported by HOPS, SWAN member from Macedonia, are in the final stages of preparing the first issue of their newsletter. We hope to be able to reprint some articles from them in the next issue of the SWAN News.