Lithuania: Round table with service providers and sex workers
Participants at the event were members of I Can Live Coalition, employees of institutions providing social and healthcare services and sex workers.
The objective was to introduce the coalition, and work of various institutions to sex workers, and to hear about sex workers’ problems and concerns. Presented were also Declaration of Rights of Sex Workers in Europe.
“At the beginning the debate was more actively contributed to by representatives of participating institutions while sex workers were shy and reluctant to express their opinions. Analysis of relevant problems experienced by sex workers helped them join the debate” says Giedre Krisikaitiene from I can Live Coalition.
Sex workers lack information about their rights, where and how they can get assistance, drugs, medicines and how they can obtain residence status. But, the most urgent issues are violence (by police officers, pimps and customers), drugs and family.
The discussion tackled the issue of legalization of sex services. A common conclusion was drawn that amendments to the laws would not solve the problem.
The overwhelming problem is negative attitude of the public. More significant results can only be achieved by changing the attitude towards sex service providers.
To tackle the identified problems, the following could be done:
· Development of peer-to-peer programs;
· Drafting a petition on the most acute problems of sex service providers;
· Public awareness raising to change the attitude to sex service providers;
· Increasing motivation of sex service providers to protect other family members from engagement in sex services.
A press release on the event was drafted and distributed to the media. Some prominent media featured stories about human rights problems of sex workers and possible solutions: Klaipedos Krastui, VTV, Zebra.
For more information: Giedre Krisikaitiene,