SWAN Newsletter, Issue 27, 2010
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Excluded from Proposed Macedonian Antidiscrimination Draft Bill
In January 2010 the government of Macedonia proposed a new draft of the long-awaited anti-discrimination law. Though previous drafts included "sexual direction" as ground protected against discrimination, it has been eliminated from the present draft. Boris O. Dittrich, the advocacy director in the program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of Human Rights Watch wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Macedonia.
South Africa: Push to Protect Sex Workers During World Cup
A steering committee has been set up with a mandate to push for reforms with the police commissioner and legislature before the world soccer showcase in June 2010. Sex workers and activist organizations say the World Cup is an opportunity to decriminalize their trade.
"I have seen my colleagues harassed by the police and I have also experienced that," said Anna Sibisi, a sex worker for the past eight years in Cape Town. "I would like to see this end before the World Cup."
International Sex Workers Day, 3rd March
The 3rd of March is International Sex Worker Rights Day. The day’s history goes back to 2001 when over 25,000 SWs gathered in India for a SW festival. The organizers, Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group that has over 50,000 sex worker members and members of their communities. Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3 March as International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.
Sex Workers’ Report
SWAN News interview with Victoriya about the situation of migrant sex workers in Kazakhstan.
What is the situation for girls from Uzbekistan or other countries in Kazakhstan ?
Recently, the migrant girls have the most problems. Let’s say their documents are OK. But the police take them to the police station and say they have to check their documents and then take the documents and lock the girls up. In a recent case in July in Taldykorgan, the police held the girls for six days, while they “checked” their documents. For six days, the girls were raped, beaten. They gave them nothing to eat. They were treated horribly while they were imprisoned. At the very end, they give their documents back and said “Your documents are fine, you can go.”
SWAN Member Organizations Use December 17 for Campaign Purposes
Sex workers’ organizations across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia used the opportunity of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers to advocate SW’s rights. Below is a summary of the activities carried out be the organizations.
Ukraine is Continuing to Kill Sex Workers
For the third consecutive year, on December the 17th sex workers called for society to respect the human dignity of persons involved in commercial sex, to combat discrimination and violence against one of the most marginalized groups of our society.
You Must Know About Me – Macedonian Sex Workers’ Campaign Video
In Macedonia, as throughout the world, sex workers are pushed to the margins of society by a combination of prejudice, discrimination, and violence. Insults and hate plague their lives, pervade media reports, and direct the approach of social institutions. But the lives and livelihoods of sex workers comprise of much more and the conviction remains that the selling of sexual services does not justify denial of fundamental rights, to which all human beings are entitled.
National Mapping of Commercial Sex Workers in Albania
Albanian SWAN-member Aksion Plus have prepared the first national map on the sex work-scene in Albania. The findings are alarming.
Tais Plus and HOPS to Participate at Liverpool Harm Reduction Conference
On 25th-29th April 2010, the 21st International Harm Reduction Conference is taking place where it was first established in Liverpool, England.
Sex Workers’ Advocacy School
The Curious Sex Workers’ Guide to the “Anti-Prostitution Pledge”
What is the “Anti-Prostitution Pledge”?
The ‘Anti-Prostitution Pledge’ is the name given to an American policy put into place in under George Bush. Since 2003, any groups receiving money for anti-trafficking or HIV programs have to have a policy opposing prostitution. This affects groups all around the world who receive money from the American government and work with sex workers – even if they are receiving US money for something other than their work with sex workers.
Anti-Prostitution Pledge Timeline
(including material from http://www.pepfarwatch.org/)
by Carol Leigh
Trafficking Policy Research Project
The development of this policy demonstrates the way the US exports repressive ideologies through conditions set for foreign aid recipients.
Quote of the Month
“We had nowhere to sleep. There were two wooden benches. We sat on the floor, it was wet, people would urinate as we were sitting there, like cattle. I didn’t have any air to breathe. When I asked for a doctor, they said there is nothing wrong with you. When I remember that image, I get very upset. Terribly.”
Nevrie, Macedonia on being detained by the police
Statement of Support for Resistance in New Orleans
End Unjust Arrests, Sentencing and Sex Offender Registration of Sex Workers
We the undersigned extend our support for Women With A Vision's "No Justice!" Project, a campaign to combat the sentencing of people arrested for sex work under the 203-yr-old "crimes against nature" felony-level law in New Orleans, LA.
State Regulations and Policies to Control Sex Work Cause Human Rights Violations in Austria
The Sex Workers' Forum of Vienna has submitted a shadow report to the UN Committee Against Torture which is reviewing Austria's compliance with international agreements on preventing torture this April. Sex work in Austria is legal if sex workers are registered with authorities and undergo mandatory medical exams.
Second Issue of the Newsletter of the Sex Workers’ Association in Hungary is out
Issue 1 of 2010 features a long interview with Swedish SW Pye Jacobson, who tells the readers about the legal regulation of sex work in Sweden and its consequences on SWs and their clients. There is an article about the current phase of the AIDS epidemic and the means of protection. This is followed by a country profile of Albania, with an insight into the local commercial sex scene. There is an article on the hazards of gambling as a type of addiction and its adverse social consequences. Readers are acquainted with the history of the Busho-march, the famous and traditional early-spring masquerade in the streets of Mohács, Hungary. Finally, there is an article on the Venice Carnival.
The Hungarian Association are in the process of officially changing their name from Hungarian Prostitutes’ Advocacy Association to Hungarian Sex Workers Advocacy Association. The reason behind the change – as explained by representative András Szabó – is that the expression “sex worker” is much less burdened with the stigmata and prejudices regularly associated with the term “prostitute”. The change will, therefore, place the organization in a better position regarding the tone of the public discourse on the rights of sex workers.
You can download the newsletter PDF here.
’Kill hooker’ facebook site removed
The Daily Telegraph, Australia
12 February 2010 – A catholic school student was disciplined for setting up a Facebook page that appeared to advocate killing prostitutes. The page titled "Killing your hooker so you don't have to pay her", has been removed by Facebook but not before almost 18,000 people joined it.
UK law to criminalize men having sex with “exploited” women
The Telegraph, UK
8 March 2010 – The UK Home Office has announced that men who have sex with “exploited” women will face fines of 1,000 pounds under a new law applicable from April 1.The law will criminalize anyone who pays for sex with a prostitute who is “controlled”-such as those with pimps, in brothels or who have been trafficked.
Cambodian Sex Workers March for their Rights
March 2010 – Recent pronouncements by the Prime Minister in Cambodia that sex work is an affront to traditional Cambodian culture and to the dignity of Cambodian women have led to more raids on bars and arrests of sex workers
Drawn Petition for the Human Rights, Safety and Social Inclusion of Sex Workers
March 2010 – In a collaboration with International Union of Sex Workers, artist Natasha Gomperts decided to highlight the danger to prostitutes whose human, civil and labour rights are being eroded by legislation.
„A Right to Be”
A film about sex work in the Caribbean
January 2010 – A film from the Caribbean Treatment Action Group and the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition about the problems faced by sex workers in the Caribbean. There is a focus on migrant workers, HIV, abuse from the state, stigma and discrimination from the community and efforts to overcome them.
Sex Workers Labeled as Sex Offenders
The Louisana Weekly, USA
January 2010 – New Orleans city police and the district attorney's office are using a state law written for child molesters to charge hundreds of sex workers like Tabitha as sex offenders. The law, which dates back to 1805, makes it a crime against nature to engage in "unnatural copulation" – a term New Orleans cops and the district attorney's office have interpreted to mean anal or oral sex.
Sex Worker Media Library opens in San Francisco
31 January 2010 − Created with the goal of preserving sex worker culture and discourse, the Sex Worker Media Library in the Centre for Sex & Culture (CSC) is a database of videos by and about sex workers from around the world. The library is located on-site at CSC and available for viewing by application only.
Swiss prostitutes trained to use defibrillators
The Telegraph, UK
18 February 2010 − Brothel owners in the Lugano area say electric shock treatment to restart customer's hearts is needed because so many elderly customers are using their services. The most recent victim was a pensioner, thought to be having fun with the help of anti-impotence medication.
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.
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