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SWAN News, Issue 22, January 2009

IN FOCUS:
DECEMBER 17 CAMPAIGN

SWAN Petition to Macedonian Government
*Albania: Media campaign, round table and newsletter for sex workers
*Czech Republic: Media campaign, sex workers’ party, New York Times article
*Macedonia: Exhibition, red umbrella march, postcards, posters, newsletter
*Kyrgyzstan: Social drama piece, fashion show, vigil, and code of conduct for clients
*Ukraine: Media campaign
*Russia: Media campaign and human rights training for sex workers
*Serbia: Media campaign and workshops for sex workers
*Bulgaria: Postcard campaign, distribution of Declaration of Rights
*Slovakia: Red umbrellas, coaster campaign in bars and clubs
*Lithuania: Round table with service providers and sex workers
*Serbia-Macedonia-Albania: Cross-border December 17 media reporting
*Kazakhstan: Seminar for sex workers
December 17 - History
NEWS FROM SWAN NETWORK
*Macedonia: Media report on international criticism of involuntary testing of alleged sex workers
*Russia: Is prostitution a profession? Russian TV viewers think it is
*Czech Republic: Government to map prostitution in 2009
*Bulgaria: Sixth Annual Meeting of NGOs working with sex workers
*Bulgaria: HESED wins grant from European Commission and national award
*Czech Republic: Sex workers’ theatre performs at a Prague festival
*Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia: SWAN seminars on sex work for media reporters
*Macedonia: STAR publishes the third issue of From us to Us
*Ukraine: Mayor of Kiev orders establishment of professional association for sex workers
NEWS FROM RIGHTS ADVOCATES
*20th International Summer School on Human Rights
*MSM Community Initiative Awards
SEX WORKERS’ ADVOCACY SCHOOL
*MEDIA REPORTERS’ SENSITIZATION ON SEX WORK ISSUES II
SEX WORKERS’ REPORT
*Our Lives Matter: Humanitarian Action, SWAN member from Russia
IN THE NEWS
CALL FOR FEEDBACK AND CONTRIBUTIONS
ABOUT US
SUBSCRIPTION

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IN FOCUS:
DECEMBER 17 CAMPAIGN

December 17th, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, calls attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the globe. This issue of the SWAN News is devoted to the campaign organized during the week of December 17, 2008 by the SWAN members. 

SWAN Petition to Macedonian Government
In several countries SWAN member organizations, sex workers, their friends and supporters, organized collection of signatures on a SWAN petition regarding the November 2008 detention and involuntary HIV and STI testing of sex workers in Skopje, Macedonia.  More

Albania: Media campaign, round table and newsletter for sex workers
Sex workers in Albania are exposed to violence, are not protected by the law and do not have access to public health – this was the theme of this year’s December 17 campaign organized by Aksion Plus, SWAN member from Albania.  The campaign had three target audiences: general population, sex workers, and decision makers. More
 
 
Czech Republic: Media campaign, sex workers’ party, New York Times article

Bliss Without Risk (Rozkos bez Rizika), SWAN member from Czech Republic organized a number of activities in December 2008 targeting general population and sex workers. Among them were press conference, an open day event, party for sex workers, and distribution of materials by an outreach vehicle.  More

Macedonia: Exhibition, red umbrella march, postcards, posters, newsletter
High-profile multimedia exhibition, public opening of red umbrellas, post cards and newsletter distribution were parts of this years campaign, that aimed at raising awareness of general audience about discrimination against sex workers, and of sex workers about their own rights. A song on sex workers released in Skopje. More

Kyrgyzstan: Social drama piece, fashion show, vigil, and code of conduct for clients
On 17th of December Tais Plus, SWAN member from Kyrgyzstan presented a social drama piece, played by sex workers for audience gathered in Labrys Community Center in Bishkek, the nation’s capital. The audience saw examples of violence in the work place and why sex workers as victims of such violence do not address the police. More

Ukraine: Media campaign
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. More

Russia: Media campaign and human rights training for sex workers
In December 2008 number of leading Russian media reported on human rights abuses and violence against sex workers and initiated debate about possible legalization of sex work. Sex workers in Petersburg marched with red umbrellas and civil society organizations in Barnaul, Siberia, met with sex workers to understand their problems and needs. More

Serbia: Media campaign and workshops for sex workers
Numerous media outlets in Serbia analyzed in December problems of human rights violations and violence against sex workers. This year sex workers for the first time ever participated in the campaign. More

Bulgaria: Postcard campaign, distribution of Declaration of Rights
Sex workers have their rights, and one of the basic human rights is freedom of violence – this was the message of the 2008 December 17 campaign in Bulgaria. In the second year of campaigning for rights of sex workers, SWAN member HESED focused its activities on sex workers, their clients, and national and international partner organizations. More

Slovakia: Red umbrellas, coaster campaign in bars and clubs
Sex work is work, and everyone has freedom to choose their work - was the message of this year’s December 17 campaign in Slovakia. Odyseus, SWAN member from Slovakia organized a month-long distribution of coasters and postcards with campaign messages in ten Slovakian towns. More

Lithuania: Round table with service providers and sex workers
I Can Live Coalition, SWAN member from Lithuania, organized on December 17 a consultative meeting that focused on human rights of sex workers and legal and health services. The event attracted media attention. More

Serbia-Macedonia-Albania: Cross-border December 17 media reporting
December 17 campaign sparked media interest in the situation sex workers experience in other countries in the region. Several Serbian media noted the red umbrella march and exhibition in Skopje and commented on forced STI testing action in November.  Macedonian media on their side reported about issues sex workers face in Albania. More

Kazakhstan: Seminar for sex workers
In the framework of December 17 campaign, Social Bureau Kovcheg, SWAN member from Kazakhstan, organized a human rights seminar for sex workers in Taldikorgan. Participating were 20 sex workers.  More

December 17 - History
Originally thought of by Dr. Annie Sprinkle and started by the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle Washington, International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers has empowered sex workers from cities around the world to come together and organize against discrimination and remember victims of violence. More

NEWS FROM SWAN NETWORK
Macedonia: Media report on international criticism of involuntary testing of alleged sex workers

Macedonian media reported that “more then 30 international NGOs criticized Macedonian governments’ action” in which in November last year a number of alleged sex workers were detained, involuntarily tested and their identities released to the media. More

Russia: Is prostitution a profession?  Russian TV viewers think it is
Last November Russian TV station 100TV devoted its Freedom Bridge show to sex work issues. One of the guests in the studio was Irina Maslova from Humanitarian Action, SWAN member from Russia. The viewers voted on the question Do you consider prostitution to be a profession? The result: 4,299 said YES and 4,294 NO. More

Czech Republic: Government to map prostitution in 2009
The Czech Labour and Social Affairs Ministry will for the first time map prostitution in the Czech Republic in 2009, deputy minister Marian Hosek informed. SWAN member from Czech Republic criticizes the plan. More

Bulgaria: Sixth Annual Meeting of NGOs working with sex workers
The sixth annual national meeting of NGOs working with sex workers was held on December 5 - 7 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The aim of the meeting was to exchange information and work experiences. More

Bulgaria: HESED wins grant from European Commission and national award
In December 2008 HESED, SWAN member from Bulgaria, won a grant from the European Commission to take part in a multinational outreach project with indoor sex workers. The novelty approach this project brings are the Internet consultations with sex workers. Also in December, HESED was given a special award at the National AIDS Partnership Meeting for its pioneering work with sex workers. More

Czech Republic: Sex workers’ theatre performs at a Prague festival
Last year the 19th annual Babí léto festival took place at the Prague’s Bohnice psychiatric clinic. The festival presents music and drama and, for the fifth year, runs a special showcase of homeless people’s theatre.
One of the shows presented in that section was Bliss – a Czech musical theatre made by sex-workers. The group is run by the Bliss without Risk, SWAN member from Czech Republic.  More

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia:  SWAN seminars on sex work for media reporters
Seminars on sex work and human rights for media reporters were organized in November by SWAN member organizations in Sankt Petersburg, Irkutsk and Chelyabinsk in Russia, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and Taldikorgan in Kazakhstan.  More

Macedonia: STAR publishes the third issue of From us to Us
STAR, Macedonian sex workers organization, issued on December 17 the third issue of the newsletter From us to Us. Supported by HOPS, SWAN member from Macedonia, the newsletter provides sex workers with possibility to speak up about fun, health, safety and human rights.  More

Ukraine: Mayor of Kiev orders establishment of professional association for sex workers
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. More

NEWS FROM RIGHTS ADVOCATES
20th International Summer School on Human Rights
Application deadline: February 22
Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights is organizing the 20th International Summer School on Human Rights. The School will be held in Warsaw-Miedzeszyn, Poland, between 20 and 27 June 2009. More

MSM Community Initiative Awards
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research to reduce rates of HIV infection and transmission among men who have sex with men, seeks proposals from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 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 II
In the previous issue of the SWAN Advocacy School we talked about things to do in the preparatory phase of media sensitization seminars. In this edition, we are talking about the seminar delivery and follow up. 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 swan@tasz.hu.

Our Lives Matter: Humanitarian Action, SWAN member from Russia
Our Lives Matter: Sex Workers Unite for Health and Rights is a report by Anna-Louise Crago, published 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 the featured groups are two SWAN members. In this issue we are reprinting the chapter featuring Humanitarian Action from Sankt Petersburg, Russia. More

QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“SWAN sends three messages to the society. The first is: Sex work is work. My body is my business. The second: Sex workers have right to access medical assistance and prophylactic programs. And the third: No one can be freely raped or murdered.”
- Irina Maslova, Humanitarian Action, SWAN Member from Sankt Petersbur, Russia, in an interview to Moskovskiy Komsomolec in December 2007

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.

PR News, US
January 9, 2009
Press Release
Report finds that raids are not an effective tool against human trafficking
Calls on Obama and Biden to Develop Alternative Approaches
NEW YORK-- A new report concludes that so-called "rescue" raids are not an effective way to stop trafficking in persons and in fact can be counter-productive. More

Taipei Times, Taiwan
January 6, 2009
Groups urge government to legalize sex industry
Several sex worker advocacy groups yesterday staged a protest in front of the Ministry of the Interior, demanding that the government decriminalize prostitution and enact a new law to protect the right to sex among consenting adults.  More

The Independent, UK
December 30, 2008
Sex workers dicing with death in Bangladesh
Charities must overcome the disapproval of a conservative society to teach prostitutes about safe sex. More

Nyasa Times, Malawi
January 8, 2009
Zimbabwe’s sex workers flocking to Malawi for business
With poverty which has hit the former regional food basket for SADC countries, the home of Comrade Bob Mugabe, the one time friend of the late Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley, there has been a flock of sexual workers from Zimbabwe into its neighboring countries. More

SFBayTimes.com, USA
January 9, 2009
Russian Gay Web Site Chooses Top Stories Of 2008
The Web site GayRussia.ru posted its list of the top news stories of 2008. Domestically, the portal cited the end of the ban on blood donation by gay people, Moscow’s third gay pride events, and the aborted gay film festival in St. Petersburg. More

Associated Press, USA
January 14, 2009
Woman accused of running online prostitution ring out of USDA office
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Kansas City, Mo., is accused of running an online prostitution business through her government office computer. 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
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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

SUBSCRIPTION
Subscription is free of charge. To subscribe or unsubscribe to SWAN News, please send a message to swan-subscription@tasz.hu  with the following text in the subject line:
"Subscribe SWAN News" or "Unsubscribe SWAN News"

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