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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

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.
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The organizers claim they had to cancel the round table about decriminalization of prostitution for security reasons: they were afraid someone could attack the participants after the “scandalous” article with a “shameful title”. But some participants say the dean actually forbade the event.

“In the past few days, I have done interviews with five different journalists - from progressive newspapers, to student journalists, to the journal which reminds me of something between the U.S.’s Time Magazine and National Geographic. And there are still more” says Wendy Vinaigrette, one of the two sex workers who were to participate at the event.

“And the sex worker activists here are excited, because never before has the issue of sex work gotten so much media attention. There was one bad article, and the rest of them have been good. I am told that they have been trying for years to get the media to talk about the real issues facing sex workers, and the journalism has been very poor, and very degrading” – adds Vinaigrette.

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