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Global Village, IAC 2010

By Katerina Partinova, HOPS, Macedonia
The Global Village at the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna was officially opened on 19th July by the Mayor of Vienna and Laxmi Narayan Tripathi of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW).
The Global Village was a space where communities from all over the world gather to meet, share the experience and learn from each other. More…

It was a space where communities and NGO's could explain and present their work. It was also a space that invited conference participants to see how science translates into community action and intervention. It was one of the most important reasons for being present as organization, as network at the Global Village.
The Global Village promoted networking between the geographical north and south, east and west and provided a space for displays, discussions and performances from all over the world. The Global Village was open to the general public and conference delegates and admission was free.
A large delegation of sex workers was in attendance and was participating in a wide range of activities, panels, and presentations.
The very first day, when the opening of the Global Village took place, sex workers’ communities, their allies and supporters joined a demonstration for human rights and access to prevention programs. Sex workers and their allies chanted "Sex work is work!”, "Sex workers are dying too!", "Show us the money!” and carried signs saying “Broken promises kill!” referring to the lack of funding to address HIV globally. See video recordings here and here
Later that week, the sex workers were led to yet another protest by a human rights activist, Maclean Kyomya, moved around the International Conference Centre demanding that their rights be respected. Kyomya, who heads an association of sex workers in Uganda, together with other activists chanted: "It is our right", attracting journalists to point television cameras in their direction. The demonstrators carried signs saying, "Sex work is work", "PEPFAR=No condoms", "PEPFAR kills sex workers"...
Besides demonstrations and marches there were a lot of different activities and presentations by the sex workers separate from the conference program, at the Global Village. We were well recognized, our red umbrellas visible wherever we went...
So, the sex work related program at the Global Village included:
Upholding the rights of sex workers and Bar Hostesses in Kenya
State pimping: Young sex workers, State custody, and universal Access to HIV/AIDS services
Performance-Star Whores III
Fashion show-Daspu - From Sidewalks to Catwalks
Performance-Super Puta and Santa Precaria Manifesto
"Caused by the Refraction" - Screening and discussion with a Film Maker and Sex worker Organizer from Myanmar
HIV Prevention Among migrant male sex workers
BOCHINCHE - Using Arts and Cultural activism to confront violence against transgenders and sex workers
Films that were produced by Ukraine, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and SWAN were screened at the Human Rights Networking Zone. Also the Macedonian film "You must know about me" was shown at the NSWP’ Networking Zone.
This program was rich with sessions, performances and screenings related to human rights of other marginalized groups, sessions about migrations, etc.
All in all, you may say that sex workers and their allies managed to bring attention to their issues and hopefully IAC 2010 will bring positive changes in health and sex work context.