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Albania: Media Publishes Results of Survey with Sex Workers

July 2009, Tirana --- Aksion Plus, an Albanian NGO and SWAN member since 2006, worked in cooperation with one of the main media outlets in Tirana to publicize interviews and focus group discussions with sex workers.

Aksion Plus invited a journalist from one of the biggest newspapers in Tirana to participate in conducting interviews with sex worker groups. The journalist held interviews together with Aksion Plus’ peer-educator and social worker. The discussions took part in the office of the organization and in the street. The interviews revealed that conditions under which sex workers provide their services are far from being good in terms of hygiene. Also social support and childcare are lacking. The contingent of sex workers varied; there were representatives of Roma community and transgender among the respondents. The interviewees reported that their clients vary from young, to married, to old and to rich VIPs with luxurious cars.

It was also reported that some clients do not pay for the services and act violently towards sex workers. To solve this problem, sex workers started to unite into solidarity groups or alliances to protect themselves and each other from assaults of the police and violence from clients. This is especially crucial since most of street sex workers are independent and do not work for pimps, says Genci Mukollari, representative of Aksion Plus, SWAN member from Albania.

“The media as always has been sympathetic and realistic in reflecting sex work issues. In many cases they have been interviewing sex workers, have been writing their life stories, and have been calling for more rights and conditions for this vulnerable group. Anyway, changes in law are needed, and maybe we will follow on this track after the general elections that were held in 28th of June.” – says Genci Mucollari.

Contact person: Genci Mukollari
About Aksion Plus
Email: gencaxionp@albmail.com