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SWAN News, Issue 21, Autumn 2008

IN FOCUS: MACEDONIA ALERT: POLICE RAIDS, DETENTIONS, INVOLUNTARY STI-TESTS
*Macedonian sex workers need your help: sign this open letter to Macedonian government
*Macedonia: sex workers’ and rights advocates’ reaction: what has been done
*Statement by the Macedonian Ministry of Interior

NEWS FROM SWAN NETWORK
*Kyrgyzstan: Tais Plus briefs CEDAW about violation of rights of sex workers
*Serbia: Public debate follows cancellation of a round table on sex work
*Serbia: Sex workers are people and should not be discriminated
*Bulgaria: Discussion on legalization of prostitution gains (new) strength
*Macedonia: Launch of community newsletter for sex workers
*Ukraine: Police write notes to sex workers' parents
*Belarus: Sex workers “conceived by drunkards” says MP
*Macedonia and Serbia: SWAN holds seminars on sex work for media reporters
*Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia: More seminars on sex work for media reporters

NEWS FROM RIGHTS ADVOCATES
*Advocates and governments worldwide mark 2008 World AIDS Day
*December 17 campaigns: guerrilla marketing tactics
*Take part in future CEDAW Committee meetings!
*Another victory: US judge once again bans anti-prostitution pledge requirement
*Resources by and for sex workers and rights advocates available online
*Sexworker Open University in London
*Activist creates December 17 Facebook group

SEX WORKERS’ ADVOCACY SCHOOL
*Media reporters’ sensitization on sex work issues

SEX WORKERS’ REPORT
*Our Lives Matter: Odyseus, SWAN member from Slovakia

PUBLICATIONS
*Rights Not Rescue: A Report on Female, Trans, and Male Sex Workers’ Human Rights in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa
*Ten Reasons to Oppose the Criminalization of HIV Exposure or Transmission
*Ten Reasons Why Human Rights Should Occupy the Center of the Global AIDS Struggle

CALLS FOR PROPOSALS AND PAPERS
IN THE NEWS
CALL FOR FEEDBACK AND CONTRIBUTIONS

ABOUT US
SUBSCRIPTION

___________________________________________________________________________

IN FOCUS: MACEDONIA ALERT: POLICE RAIDS, DETENTIONS, INVOLUNTARY STI-TESTS

More then 30 sex workers, clients, mediators and one social worker from HOPS, SWAN member from Macedonia, detained in a massive raid; involuntary STI tests performed; civil society says human rights seriously violated

Coalition for Protection and Promotion of Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities (HOPS, HERA, MASSO, MHRN, STAR, IZBOR) excoriates the last “coordinated action for suppression of street prostitution” of the Office of Interior (SVR), Skopje, Macedonia, and finds serious indications of severe procedural mistakes, misuse of official activity and flagrant violence of the basic human and health rights of the persons (sex workers) detained, as well as their direct discrimination on the ground of their work as sex workers on open scene. More

 MACEDONIAN SEX WORKERS NEED YOUR HELP: SIGN THIS OPEN LETTER TO MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT
SWAN members have sent letters of protest to Macedonian government. But your support is also needed. Please download the letter of support here, put your logo, sign, and fax or email to the listed officials. Thank you! More

 

Macedonia: sex workers’ and rights advocates’ reaction: what has been done

Here is what the Coalition for protection and promotion of sexual and health rights of marginalized communities has done so far in the follow-up of the action by the Macedonian police. More

 

Statement by the Macedonian Ministry of Interior

November 23, 2008 – “Maybe the NGOs think that the revolt of the citizens is irrelevant, and it is “normal” to offer oral sex to a 15-year old, for a certain amount of money” – is only one of the questions raised in the official statement by the Macedonian Ministry of Interior, published on their web site and released to the Media on November 28. More

 

NEWS FROM SWAN NETWORK

Kyrgyzstan: Tais Plus briefs CEDAW about violation of rights of sex workers

On 20-25 October 2008 Tais Plus, SWAN member from Kyrgyzstan presented its Shadow Report on the implementation of UN CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) by the Kyrgyz Republic at the 42nd CEDAW session in Geneva, Switzerland. More

 

Serbia: Public debate follows cancellation of a round table on sex work

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: Sex workers are people and should not be discriminated

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

 

Bulgaria: Discussion on legalization of prostitution gains (new) strength

Public discussion on legalization of prostitution has gained new strengths in the last few months in Bulgaria. Events that attracted public and political attention were two explosions and shooting in striptease bars in Sofia. More

 

Macedonia: Launch of community newsletter for sex workers

Sex workers in Skopje, capital of Macedonia, issued this winter first two numbers of a community newsletter entitled “From us to us”. More

 

Ukraine: Prostitution should be legalized, says minister of health

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

 

Ukraine: Police write notes to sex workers' parents

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

 

Belarus: Sex workers “conceived by drunkards” says MP

Gennady Davidko, Belarus MP, says that prostitution should be legalized and children given sexual education in the form of family viewing of porn movies. More

 

Macedonia and Serbia: SWAN holds seminars on sex work for media reporters

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

 

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia: More seminars on sex work for media reporters

Seminars on sex work and human rights for media reporters were organized in November by SWAN members in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Russia. SWAN News will report about these events in its next issue.

 

NEWS FROM RIGHTS ADVOCATES

Advocates and governments worldwide mark 2008 World AIDS Day

December 1, World AIDS Day, was observed around the globe. More then ever emphasis was put on fighting stigma and prejudice. More

 

December 17 campaigns: guerrilla marketing tactics

By Arielle Reid, SWAN

December 17, the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers is round the corner and all SWAN members are planning some sort of action. Some of us are preparing massive public campaigns, some are planning distribution of Declaration of right of sex workers, in some places there will be parties for sex workers, or red umbrella marches. Here are some simple campaigning ideas that do not cost much and can have strong echo in the society. More

 

Take part in future CEDAW Committee meetings!

Deadline: January 26, 2009

International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific facilitates the participation of women in the CEDAW review process through the programme “From Global to Local”. They assist women’s organisations in preparing shadow/alternative reports and facilitate the presence and effective intervention by NGOs at the CEDAW sessions. Here is how you can take part in the process. More

 

Another victory: US judge once again bans anti-prostitution pledge requirement

In an ongoing court battle to protect freedom of speech and promote effective public health policy, a US federal judge on August 8 extended free speech protection to a broad range of groups working to combat the AIDS epidemic, ruling they are not obliged to declare support to programs targeting sex workers. More

 

Resources by and for sex workers and rights advocates available online

International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) and TAMPEP (European Network for HIV/STI Prevention and Health Promotion among Migrant Sex Workers) have posted online resources by and for sex workers and sex worker rights advocates. More

 

Sexworker Open University in London

Beyond victims and criminals is the byline of the Sexworker Open University initiative by Empower! The event will be organized in April 2009 in London. More 

 

Activist creates December 17 Facebook group

Hi everyone!

I created a group on Facebook for the 17th of December. More

 

SEX WORKERS’ ADVOCACY SCHOOL

In this column, SWAN News publishes articles that can help sex workers rights advocates in their daily work: how to challenge the myths surrounding sex work, how to fight abolitionists, how to work with media, communicate, create an effective message and get it across.

MEDIA REPORTERS’ SENSITIZATION ON SEX WORK ISSUES

In this and following issue of the SWAN Advocacy School we will talk about organizing sensitization seminars for the media reporters on sex work issues. More

 

SEX WORKERS’ REPORT

Nothing about us without us is a message repeated more often then ever before by sex workers around the world. This column in the SWAN News provides an opportunity for sex workers to express their opinions, tell us about their lives, problems and dreams. The column is edited by Anna-Louise Crago, sex worker and advocate for sex workers human rights. Contributions are welcome: write to annalouisecrago at gmail.com.

 

Our Lives Matter: Odyseus, SWAN member from Slovakia

Our Lives Matter: Sex Workers Unite for Health and Rights is a new report by Anna-Louise Crago, issued in August 2008 by the Open Society Institute. It highlights the creative ways in which sex workers in eight countries have organized to defend their human rights and health. Among thosee groups are also two SWAN members. In this issue we are publishing the chapter featuring Odyseus from Slovakia. More

 

PUBLICATIONS

Rights Not Rescue: A Report on Female, Trans, and Male Sex Workers’ Human Rights in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa

November 2008, OSI Sex workers in Southern Africa are subjected to widespread human rights abuses, according to Rights Not Rescue: A Report on Female, Trans, and Male Sex Workers’ Human Rights in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Released by the Open Society Institute, the report documents the experiences of sex workers and their efforts to protect their rights despite overwhelming challenges. More

 

Ten Reasons to Oppose the Criminalization of HIV Exposure or Transmission

December 1, 2008, OSI

Recent years have seen the creation, particularly in parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, of HIV-specific laws that criminalize HIV transmission and exposure. At the same time, particularly in Europe and North America, existing criminal laws are increasingly being used to prosecute people for transmitting HIV or exposing others to HIV infection. More 

 

Ten Reasons Why Human Rights Should Occupy the Center of the Global AIDS Struggle

Ralf Jurgens and Jonathan Cohen, OSI, 2008

At the 2006 United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, world leaders reaffirmed that “the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all is an essential element in the global response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.” Yet, as many sad events round the globe, the latest one from only two weeks ago in Macedonia show, this “essential element” remains the missing piece in the fight against AIDS. More

 

CALLS FOR PROPOSALS AND PAPERS

Criminalization of HIV, sexuality and reproduction

Deadline: March 1, 2009

The Reproductive Health Matters Journal is releasing a journal issue that investigates what is occurring in countries with regard to criminalization and decriminalization of HIV transmission, sexuality and reproduction. More

 

Research for Sex Work call for papers

Deadline: January 15, 2009

The annual publication Research for Sex Work seeks contributors for its eleventh issue whose theme is sex work and pleasure. Research for Sex Work welcomes three types of articles: 1) research results, 2) project or programme descriptions and 3) think pieces. More

 

Open Society Institute Fellowship

Deadline: Rolling Deadline

The Open Society Institute (OSI) has recently launched a new fellowship program to support outstanding journalists, activists, scholars, policy experts and others to work on projects that inspire public debate and shape policy. More

 

IN THE NEWS

For copyrights reasons, we are sometimes unable to place the full text of the selected articles on the SWAN-HCLU website. Instead, we are providing a link to the news source, for which we do not know how long it will be active. We apologize in advance for possible inconveniences. Some headlines are edited.

Guardian, UK

September 17, 2008

I'm a sex worker – don't take away my livelihood

The 'Big Brothel' report paints women in my industry as victims. Some may be – but to generalize is patronizing and offensive. More

 

Macau Times, Hong Kong

December 5, 2008

Sex workers deserve equal treatment, dignity

The belief of selling sexual services is disgraceful and should be eliminated in society while sex workers, as like people in other occupation, deserved equal human rights and dignity, a women's concern group said yesterday. More

 

Herald Sun, Australia

November 24, 2008

Australian Parliament gives same-sex couples equal rights

Australian government has finished its one-year anniversary by honoring an election commitment to remove discrimination against same-sex couples from a wide-range of federal laws. More

 

Nation News, Barbados

December 5, 2008

Death penalty, criminalization of homosexuality and prostitution stay

Barbados has reaffirmed its decision to maintain the death penalty, criminalization of homosexuality and prostitution as part of its legal system. More

 

Pambazuka News

November 27, 2008

Southern Africa: Sex workers face increasing barriers to rights, health care

Sex workers in Southern Africa are subjected to widespread human rights abuses, according to a report released today by the Open Society Institute. More

 

CNN.com, USA

November 7, 2008

My life as a call girl

Eight years ago, Natalie McLennan, a leggy brunette, moved to New York City from Montreal to pursue an acting career. At a cocktail party, she met Jason Itzler, the self-proclaimed "'king of all pimps'' and owner of the now-defunct New York Confidential escort agency. More

 

Press Release – read and send further:

India: Health and police officials fuelling the spread of HIV-AIDS

Bangalore, Dec 1, 2008 -- Health Department in Ramnagara District spreads misinformation against homosexuals making them further vulnerable to HIV infection. More

 

CALL FOR FEEDBACK AND CONTRIBUTIONS

The list of SWAN News subscribers is getting bigger by the day. Please let us know if you receive the News regularly (we hope we are not discarded as spam by your computer email filter?) and give us suggestions for improvement. If you have news or stories on the sex work issues that you think are interesting or relevant for the advocates and policy makers who receive the SWAN News, please send them to us. We will carefully read and seriously consider publishing them. Our email address is sexwork@tasz.hu

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ABOUT US

SWAN newsletter is the voice of the Sex Workers Rights Advocacy Network, a network of civil society organizations engaged in advocating the Human Rights of the sex workers in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. More

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