Facebook page of SWAN Twitter page of SWAN RSS feeds

site available in english and russian

  • English
  • Russian

SWAN News, Issue 10, April 2007

CONTENTS
Focus on: 18th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm
NEWS FROM THE SWAN NETWORK
Second SWAN Network Meeting Held in Kiev, Ukraine
Sex Workers and Allies Met in Cambodia to Discuss Global Advocacy on SW Health and Human Rights
New Harm Reduction Project Targeting Albanian Sex Workers
Declaration of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe now Available in Bulgarian and Latvian
Peer Education of Bulgarian Sex Workers Focuses on HIV/AIDS, Expected Changes in Legislation and the Establishment of Association of Sex Workers
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Expanding the SWAN Network
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 7th Annual Volunteer Summer School in Gornyi Altay
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Summer 2007 Public Health/Harm Reduction Training Institute, Krakow, Poland
LISTEN ONLINE: Interview about US Aid’s anti-prostitution policies
SEX WORKERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY SCHOOL
Media Coverage and Photography in Advocacy
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
IN THE NEWS
About us:
-------------------------------------------------

Focus on: 18th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm

The 18th International Harm Reduction Conference will be held in Warsaw, Poland from May 13th – 17th. It is hoped that a focused exploration of sex worker health and rights concerns and prominent representation by sex worker rights advocates at the conference can strengthen the relationship between sex worker and harm reduction communities. Below is information about the events and presentations at the conference, focusing on sex workers.

Special Events Focusing on Sex Work and Sex Workers
Conference Sessions with Sex Worker Health and Rights Advocates and Allies
Key Messages from Sex Worker Health and Rights Advocates
Letter from SHARP Project Director


NEWS FROM THE SWAN NETWORK

Second SWAN Network Meeting Held in Kiev, Ukraine
The second Annual Meeting of Sex Workers Rights Advocacy Network in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (SWAN) was held in Kiev, Ukraine on April 26-30. Besides SWAN member organizations, participating were for the first time the representatives of sex workers from several countries of the SWAN network. More

Sex Workers and Allies Met in Cambodia to Discuss Global Advocacy on SW Health and Human Rights
Phnom Penh, April 2-4, 2007 -- Phnom Penh, the ancient capital of Cambodia, hosted in the beginning of April an international gathering of sex worker activists, advocates and allies, organized by the Open Society Institute’s Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP). Thirty representatives from around the world gathered here to identify and discuss main health and rights issues that sex workers face in different countries and to develop a common joint advocacy strategy to address these issues on national as well as on international scale. More

New Harm Reduction Project Targeting Albanian Sex Workers
Aksion Plus, SWAN Member from Albania, signed in April a contract with UNICEF for the implementation of the project “Harm Reduction Among Sex Workers in Albania”. More

Declaration of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe now Available in Bulgarian and Latvian
Declaration of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe, one of the cornerstone documents on human rights for sex workers, adopted by more then 200 delegates participating at the European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labour and Migration held 15 to 17 October 2005 in the European Parliament in Brussels, is now available in Bulgarian, thanks to the HESED, SWAN Member from Bulgaria, and Latvian, thanks to Dia+Logos, SWAN Member from Latvia. More

Peer Education of Bulgarian Sex Workers Focuses on HIV/AIDS, Expected Changes in Legislation and the Establishment of Association of Sex Workers
In the beginning of March this year HESED, SWAN Member from Bulgaria, in collaboration with SOAIDS from the Netherlands, organized a three-day peer-education event for sex-workers. More

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Expanding the SWAN Network
The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union www.tasz.hu is looking for partner NGOs to become members of the Sex Workers Rights Advocacy Network – SWAN. Applicable are civil society organizations from Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The applications should be sent to sexwork@tasz.hu  not later then June 16, 2007. More

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 7th Annual Volunteer Summer School in Gornyi Altay
Regional Public Organization Siberian Initiative, SWAN member from Russia, invites you and your volunteers to the traditional annual Volunteer Summer School. The school will be organized in Gornyi Altai in the end of July – beginning of August this year. Welcomed are volunteers from organizations working in the fields of health protection and youth development and volunteer movement coordinators. More

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Summer 2007 Public Health/Harm Reduction Training Institute, Krakow, Poland
The Open Society Institute’s International Harm Reduction Development Program (IHRD) is soliciting applications from experienced harm reduction practitioners from Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union or Asia interested in attending an intensive six week public health and harm reduction summer institute at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland June 24-August 4, 2007. More

LISTEN ONLINE: Interview about US Aid’s anti-prostitution policies
Melissa Ditmore, Coordinator of the Network of Sex Worker Projects has recently given an interview to Wakeup Call, a New York City-based morning news show on WBAI 99.5 FM. She spoke about the anti-prostitution pledge required for US government funding. Listen it online here . Melissa’s interview starts around the 28-minute mark. More

SEX WORKERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY SCHOOL
In this column, SWAN News publishes articles that could 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.

In today’s Sex Workers Rights Advocacy School we will talk about using media coverage and photography in advocacy.

Media Coverage and Photography in Advocacy
Media Coverage

Good media reports about you and your projects are an independent insight into your work. They can improve your organizational reputation and credibility. More

QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"Tobias vigorously defended and enforced Administration policies… which contradict public health evidence and undermine basic human rights. That Tobias himself would be found in violation of both policies would be amusing if the effects of these policies on the lives of real people at risk of infection, stigma and discrimination in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were not so deadly."

-- Jodi Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Health and Gender Equity, US, on the occasion of resignation of Randall Tobias, Deputy Secretary of State and Director of U. S. Foreign Assistance and Administrator for the U. S. Agency for international Development (USAID) .

IN THE NEWS
Note: 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.

The Leading Article: Resignation of Randall Tobias

www.MSMagazine.com, USA
Bush's chief for USAID, HIV prevention resigns over sex scandal
May 1, 2007 -- Randall Tobias, Director of US Foreign Assistance and Administrator of the Agency for International Development (USAID), has resigned after admitting that he had used a DC escort service. Tobias, the Bush Administration's former "AIDS Czar," is responsible for a highly criticized US policy requiring recipients of US foreign aid to sign a pledge against prostitution. The pledge effectively prevented the organizations from working with sex workers to teach HIV/AIDS prevention. Tobias was also known for promoting faithfulness and abstinence over condom use as effective means to end the AIDS epidemic. More

AScribe (press release), USA
Advocates criticize moralistic policy that Randall Tobias enforced
New York, 1 May -- Randall Tobias retired from his position as Director of U. S. Foreign Assistance and Administrator for the U. S. Agency for international Development (USAID) after being implicated in a prostitution scandal. The irony is that Tobias was the chief enforcer and mouthpiece of the Anti-Prostitution Pledge, which requires USAID grantees, among others, to denounce prostitutes - the very people whom they are trying to empower and serve. More

Slate, USA
When is a massage more than a massage?
3 May, 2007 -- Deputy Secretary of State and abstinence-proponent Randall Tobias resigned Friday after admitting he called a Washington, D.C.-area escort agency "to have gals come over to the condo to give [him] a massage." The agency's madam, Deborah Palfrey, has been charged with running a prostitution ring, but she claims that her girls offered "high end erotic fantasy" services, not sex. What kinds of erotic fantasy services are illegal? More

The Nation, USA
DC sex scandal: couldn't happen to nicer bunch of guys
2 May -- I'm amused that none of my Notion colleagues have commented on the Washington, D.C. sex scandal. Time to break this high-minded code of delicacy. Alleged madam Deborah Jane Palfrey is about to release her client list, and ABC News plans to release her phone records on Friday. To those who think they are above reveling in something so sordid: hold your high horses. More

The Washinton Post, USA
Prostitution's code of ethics
AMSTERDAM, 5 May 2007 -- There is a code of ethics in prostitution. You are not supposed to divulge names. That is the lowest thing you could do in this profession. People go to prostitutes to keep their secrets. My father was a doctor; I knew the rules. You don't talk about your patients, and, as a prostitute, you don't talk about your Johns. People trust you, and they pay enough for you. More

Life Style, Kyrgyzstan
Drop in center opened in Kyrgyzstan
As a result of the advocacy efforts of several civil society groups such as Tais Plus, Anti-AIDS and Tais Plus2, there will be no criminalization of sex work in Kyrgyzstan. Through number of public hearings they managed to convince the authorities that sex workers should not be repressed. They rather should be protected, given jobs and basic support. More

Regnum News, Russia
Russian Duma might limit advertising of sex-related services
Moscow, 12 April, 2007 -- A bill was submitted to the Duma of Russian Federation on limiting the advertising of products, services and entertainment of sexual character… The authors of the amendments to the Advertising Law and the Media Act, believe that the number of explicitly sexual programs has recently noticeably increased on the Russian TV channels. The programs are said to be targeting teenagers and youth. More

Pattaya Daily News,Thailand
Uzbek women nabbed in Pattaya sting operation
Chonburi, 3 May 2007 -- Undercover Tourist Police, pretending to buy sex from foreign women on Walking Street, South Pattaya, managed to arrest 3 Uzbek women yesterday. Police rightly believe that there are many more international female sex workers plying their trade in Thailand, in Bangkok, Pattaya and the offshore tourist-centered islands. More

Times of India, India
Sex workers demand labor rights on May Day
Kolkata, 1 May 2007 -- Thousands of sex workers from different parts of West Bengal on Tuesday took out a May Day torch rally from the Sonagachi red light area here, demanding social rights and the status of a regular worker. More

Radio New Zealand, New Zealand
Changes arising from Prostitution Reform Act hailed
Wellington, 1 May 2007 -- The Prostitutes Collective says the Prostitution Reform Act has changed the sex industry for the better. A working group has finished hearing public submissions on the law and is preparing its report for the Government. It will recommend a reduction on the number of sex workers allowed in suburban locations. More

Miami Herald, USA
For older retired prostitutes, a life off the streets
Mexico City , 30 April 2007 -- Perhaps the only thing harder than being a prostitute in this capital is being a prostitute in what Mexicans poetically call the tercera edad, literally the ''third age,'' or ``third stage of life.'' In the past, sex workers who survived to their golden years could expect to be broke and living on the streets. But for some of them, that may not be the case. More

iAfrica.com, South Africa
Sex workers sue Cape cops
Cape Town, 23 Apr 2007 -- Cape Town sex workers are suing metro police and four police station commanders for allegedly harassing and intimidating them, the Cape Argus reported on Monday. More

www.cityonahillpress.com , USA
Politics & prostitution: laws built on sex stereotypes
15 February 2007 -- If you’ve never seen a prostitute in Santa Cruz, chances are you’ve never been to Lower Ocean. The neighborhood, defined by the limits of Bixby and Barson streets, is a grid of cracked pavement that runs along the weathered frames of low-income housing complexes and the meager remains of once-grand Victorian-style homes. More

Mail & Guardian Online, South Africa
Booming trade but still no reform
Johannesburg , 7 May 2007 -- For pragmatic reasons, police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi’s call to legalise prostitution for 2010 could be seen as a step in the right direction. The move was proposed as a way of relieving overburdened cops of the onerous task of policing the sex trade, which will undoubtedly blossom as lusty fans and foreign providers of sexual services start flooding into South Africa. More

AIDS Alliance.org, USA
Moroccan sex workers take a participatory approach to identify prevention needs
1 May 2007 -- Moroccan sex workers say they lack the skills to negotiate condom use with clients despite a good understanding of why condoms are important, according to a report from Alliance partner the Association Amal pour la Femme et le Développement (AAFD). More

Aftenproften, Norway
Pushy prostitutes prompt calls for crackdown
17 April 2007 -- Prostitutes have become more brazen than ever in Norway's capital, with many aggressively peddling their wares on Oslo's main streets and around key tourist attractions. Politicians are quarreling over whether to finally make the trade illegal. Prostitution currently remains legal in Norway, but sellers of sexual services traditionally have stuck to specific areas of downtown and let customers approach them. More

CALL FOR FEEDBACK AND CONTRIBUTIONS

Dear readers,

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 mass-mailing 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 and/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  

Thank you.
The Editor

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
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” – to subscribe
“Unsubscribe SWAN News” – to unsubscribe
 

Partners