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SWAN News, Issue 11, Year 2, May 2007

Sex Workers at the 18th International Harm Reduction Conference in Warsaw
The 18th International Harm Reduction Conference was held in Warsaw, Poland from May 13th – 17th. Representation by sex worker rights advocates at the conference helped strengthen the relationship between the global sex worker and harm reduction communities. More

The Warsaw Statement from Sex Worker Health and Rights Advocates
Following is the joint statement Prepared for the 18th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, held in Warsaw, Poland, in May 2007, by the sex workers rights activists. The statement was posted on the conference website and published in the final documents. Among the statement signatories are SWAN members Tada from Poland, Odyseus from Slovakia and HOPS from Macedonia. More

Resignation of Randall Tobias
The April 27th resignation of Randall Tobias, US Director of Foreign Assistance and Administrator of USAID, in the wake of his involvement with a DC escort agency, about which SWAN News wrote in the April issue, continued to be on the news agenda in May. More

Slovakia: Journalist Training on Covering Sex Work Issues
Lubica Tornoczyova from Odyseus, SWAN member from Slovakia, made in April this year a presentation on journalistic ethics and media coverage of sex workers to a group of 30 journalists from Czech Republic and Slovakia. The presentation was part of the international „Advanced European Media Training“, organized in Slovakia by Unidea Foundation. Among the trainers and presenters were international media editors, civil society activists and university professors. More

Russia: St-Petersburg’s experiences on response to AIDS presented in Chelyabinsk
Public foundation “Humanitarian Action”, SWAN member from St-Petersburg in Russia, gave a training on AIDS prevention to injecting drug users and people providing sex services for money in the Center of Public Associations in Chelyabinsk. 98 % of St-Petersburg sex workers are drug users. 24.6 % of them are HIV positive, 6.6% infected with syphilis. More

Hungary: HCLU Goes YouTube
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, SWAN network coordinator from Hungary, has recently posted a short video statement by Robin Few on the website www.youtube.com. Over the last months YouTube has become a major portal used by the advocates to promote their ideas globally in a simple and cheap way. More

Serbia: Third International Candle Light Memorial Day
As a part of the world campaign, 3rd International Candle Light Memorial Day was organized in Belgrade on 20 May. The organizers of the event were 13 nongovernmental and international organizations, including JAZAS, SWAN member from Serbia. More

Russia: Report on the project on HIV prevention among sex workers
Final report on the implementation of the project “Complex measures on HIV prevention among individuals, providing sex services for money” was published in the framework of “National Health Project Priorities” in Russia. This project took place in 2006 in 10 regions of Russia. More

Declaration of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe now Available in Czech
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 Czech, thanks to the Bliss Without Risk, SWAN Member from Czech Republic. More

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Sarajevo Film Festival, Documentary Film Category
One of the awards given at this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival’s Documentary Film Category is the Human Rights Award. Submissions deadline is June 15, 2007. More

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 video-sharing services in advocacy.

Video Sharing: World Advocates Go Youtube
By Nebojsa Radic
Youtube, website that originally started as a place where visitors can easily upload videos and share them with friends, has become a powerful tool used by advocates around the world. Although it is limited to those who have broadband internet access, in reality it is very simple to use, even for those of us who do not have much of technological literacy. More

“Prostitution is kind of work. In Holland and many other countries, it is a legal occupation. I think it should also be legalized in Lithuania.”

-- Ceslovas Gabalis, a celebrity Lithuanian musician, commenting in the leading Lithuanian daily Lieutuvos Ritas the unveiling of the monument to prostitutes in Amsterdam as “a sign of respect for prostitutes all over the world”.

„Nothing about us without us” is a message repeated more often then ever before by sex workers around the world. This new column in the SWAN News fills that gap: it gives space to sex workers from the region to express their opinions, tell us about their lives, problems and dreams. The column will be edited by Anna-Louise Crago, our friend, sex worker and advocate for sex workers’ human rights. Contributions are welcome: write to annalouisecrago@gmail.com.

Only sex workers can truly help you when you in a very bad situation
Interview with Maria Tosheva and Laura Ferr from HOPS Macedonia
“I would like to send a message: if you see sex workers as good people, you are going to feel something that boomerangs within your heart that makes it full with peace and special love from them.” More

I feel very powerful and I’m very happy because I am very good in my job!
Interview with Sasha, a male sex worker from Macedonia
SWAN: Sasha, please tell us about sex work in Macedonia.
Sasha: „I have a lot of experience working as a sex worker in many countries in Europe. I have had good experiences in Europe. There is something that I don’t like though, that I would like to change in my country. Many young men are going with older men for very small amounts of money and they are lowering the price.” More

PUBLICATIONS: Silver Rose, magazine for sex workers in Russian
Silver Rose is a quarterly magazine written by and for sex workers who speak Russian. The magazine covers topics such as stigma and how to deal with it, self-respect, how to deal with clients who refuse to use condoms, offers psychological help, gives health and advocacy advises. More

JOB OPENING: HIV-Preventive Services for SW in Pakistan
GTZ International Services is invited to tender for the project "HIV-preventive services for female sex workers in Pakistan", which will be implemented on behalf of the World Bank. The envisaged date of commencement will be November 2007 for duration of 24 months. We are looking for personnel for the following positions. More

The Correlation Network would like to invite you to attend the conference Social Inclusion and Health - Crossing the Borders on 28 – 30 September 2007 in Sofia, Bulgaria. More

SANS - Sex workers and allies network in Sweden works towards providing sex workers with the same human rights that the rest of society enjoys. Sex workers should not be subjected to discrimination, oppression or stigmatization. SANS counteracts the stereotypical and bias image that exists about the sale of sexual services. More

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: Shouldn‘t we all benefit from prostitution?
Lietuvos Rytas Daily, Lithuania
Excerpts, provided and translated by the coalition I Can Live, SWAN member from Lithuania
Vilnius, March 7, 2007 -- Discussions about legalization of prostitution are not unusual in Lithuania. But such discussions usually die out as quickly as they start. It is a legal occupation and has become a common business in Germany, Holland, Austria. But most of us can not even imagine how such an activity could be legalized. Certainly, society has more myths about the legalization of the oldest profession in the world, than about legislation of cannabis. More

Human Rights Watch, USA
'Hall of Shame' Exposes Dangers of High-Level Homophobia
New York, May 16, 2007 -- Pope Benedict XVI, US President George W. Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have undermined human rights by actively promoting prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, Human Rights Watch said today in its annual "hall of shame" to mark the International Day Against Homophobia. More

Infoshare, Russia
Euro-2012: Sex workers will be in Kiev
Kiev, May 15, 2007 –- Only days after Ukraine’s and Poland’s victory in the selection for the Euro-2012 was announced in Cardiff, the police authorities held an urgent meeting. The heads of all police departments met to discuss one topic – sex business during the Euro-2012. More, in Russian

Spiegel Online, Germany
Miniskirt Ban in Poland?
Warsaw, May 9, 2007 -- One Polish legislator has announced plans for a bill that would ban miniskirts and other "enticements" -- with the goal of reducing street prostitution. But the move is also part of a wider culture war. A Polish lawmaker has called for a miniskirt ban as part of an overall crusade against the "enticement to sex" by women in public. More

Novyi Region2, Russia
Vladimir Zhirinovsky supports sex workers
Moscow, 11 May, 2007 –- Right after the May holidays the leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) launched two initiatives of “sexual nature”. The leader of the party Vladimir Zhirinovsky called for legalization of sex business in an article posted on the official LDPR website. A long-standing fellow of Zhirinovsky, the deputy of GosDuma (lower chamber of Russian Parliament) Alexey Mitrofanov spoke against the ban of the gay-pride parade by the Moscow authorities. More, in Russian

Times Online, UK
Tax inspectors seek slice of prostitutes’ earnings
Berlin, May 10, 2007 -- Berlin’s brothels are accustomed to all sorts of nocturnal visitors, but not, on the whole, to tax inspectors with clip-boards and stopwatches studying financial turnover. More

Bloomberg, USA
Sex Workers in Germany Face Tax Prepayment Plan
Berlin, May 22, 2007 -- Sex workers in Germany may be subject to a government charge for each day they are employed under a new tax prepayment system being considered by the Finance Ministry. More

Associated Content, USA
Zimbabwe: Teachers Turing to Prostitution to Make Ends Meet
27 May 2007 -- According to U.N News service IRIN, teachers in Zimbabwe are now turning to working as sex workers to escape the harsh economic realities. In a country where inflation is astounding 3,700 percent, they are forced to trade their place in classrooms to walking in streets looking for "clients". More

Channel News Asia, Singapore
Singapore film on Geylang sex workers debuts to full house at Cannes
CANNES, 27 May 2007 -- A Singapore-made film about sex workers premiered to a full house at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France. More

Independent Online, South Africa
Sexual Offence Bill: Sweat vows to fight
Cape Town, May 23 2007 -- The Sex Workers Advocacy Trust (Sweat) says it will lobby the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) not to criminalize sex workers' clients and will explore other avenues if that fails. More

UNO Student Becomes Stripper for Thesis
Omaha, May 22, 2007 -- A University of Nebraska-Omaha student took a job recently as a stripper for class credit. Professor Applauds Student's Courage. More

680 News, Canada
Toronto councilor wants to create red light district on Toronto Island
Toronto, May 09, 2007 -- A Toronto councilor wants to turn one of the islands into hooker haven. Georgio Mammoliti said it would allow the city to put the massage business into one area. Mammoliti wants city staff to study the experiences of Amsterdam and other cities that have legalized prostitution and restricted it to specific areas. More

The Australian, Australia
Peruvian sex workers plead for regulation
May 19, 2007 -- Peruvian sex workers have urged the government to regulate their profession, saying it would protect them from violence and help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. More

Daily Nation, Kenya
What the law says about the oldest 'profession'
Nairobi, May 19, 2007 -- Whether one likes it or not, prostitution is a “profession” that will not die away; it is here to stay. And with it comes the challenges which hardly allow easy solutions. More

CNN-IBN, India
Sex workers shoot their miseries
Patna, May 2007 -- The sex workers in Bihar's Muzaffarpur are eagerly learning a new profession - photography. Their pictures tell the story of a struggle, the struggle of these women to discover a new way of life. More

NEWS.com.au, Australia
Former council official accepted sex for favors
Sydney, May 15, 2007 -- A FORMER senior council official received thousands of dollars in cash payments, as well as getting sexual favors from at least 13 sex workers, in return for turning a blind eye to the operation of illegal brothels in western Sydney. More

Hindu Business Line, India
HIV-prevention programs must promote the safety and well-being of sex workers
Andhra Pradesh, May 11, 2007 -- A significant number of female sex workers in east Godavari, a district estimated to have one of the highest prevalence of HIV in Andhra Pradesh, mix soda, turmeric or an antiseptic lotion like Dettol with water to wash their vagina after sex. They believe this can reduce the transmission of HIV. More

Stabroek News, Guyana
Decriminalize sex work - Caribbean vulnerable groups urge
May 10th 2007 -- The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) has proposed decriminalizing prostitution as part of a sex work policy to address HIV/AIDS in the region. More


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

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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.

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