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SWAN News, Issue 13, Year 2, summer (July-August) 2007

* Pro and Contra the ban of buying sex services in Norway
* Hungarian prostitutes to receive subsidized business classes
* Macedonia: Raising awareness on human rights among sex workers
* Poland: Police enforcing law against criminals wheedling money out of sex workers
* Czech Republic: Mapping of sex workers in Czech Republic
* Bulgaria: Interview with Angelina Georgieva, HESED
* UNAIDS Guidance on HIV and Sex Work
* About customers
* End-demand: global response

In this issue, SWAN News will focus on anti-customer (end-demand) initiatives. We will try to answer the following questions: what are the ways that some governments and police are trying to crack down on sex workers’ clients? What sex workers think about it? What they’ve done to stop it? Besides this introductory text by Anna-Louise Crago, read more about this topic in the Sex Worker’s Report in this issue. More

Pro and Contra the ban of buying sex services in Norway
Support groups for prostitutes fear the law to ban buying sex services in Norway may lead to violence toward sex workers and greater reliance on pimps, but backers say it will hurt traffickers. More

Hungarian prostitutes to receive subsidized business classes
A news report about a project undertaken by the Hungarians Prostitutes Interest Association, a SWAN member from Hungary, gives an overview of sex work in Hungary. More

Macedonia: Raising awareness on human rights among sex workers
HOPS, SWAN member from Macedonia in collaboration with OSCE Spillover mission to Skopje started a cycles of workshops for raising awareness on human rights among sex workers, drug users and professionals working in harm reduction programs in Macedonia. More

Poland: Police enforcing law against criminals wheedling money out of sex workers
In a cornerstone development in Poland, several men were in July this year charged for wheedling money out of sex workers in one of Czestochowa’s night clubs and on one of the highways leading to the city – reports TADA, SWAN member from Poland. More

Czech Republic: Mapping of sex workers in Czech Republic
As Bliss without Risk, SWAN member from Czech Republic reports, the Czech government is preparing mapping of sex workers in this country. More

Bulgaria: Interview with Angelina Georgieva, HESED
Angelina Georgieva, social worker from HESED, SWAN member from Bulgaria, talks with Anne-Louise Crago about the impeding legislative changes in Bulgaria that will regulate prostitution, on the outreach Oscar established this year in Bulgaria, and soon-to-be-registered organization for protection of the rights of sex workers. More


In this column, SWAN News publishes articles that can 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 UNAIDS Guidance on HIV and Sex Work.

SWAN News already reported about this topic in the June Issue. In the meantime, sex workers organizations around the world continued working on review of the UNAIDS Guidance Note. In this article written by Anna-Louise Crago, we are giving a short review of the paper, the controversy it stirred, and the global response and successful advocacy by the sex worker community. More


„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 is edited by Anna-Louise Crago, sex worker and advocate for sex workers’ human rights. Contributions are welcome: write to annalouisecrago@gmail.com .
This month’s Sex Workers’ Report focuses on the relationship sex worker-customer and anti-customer end-demand initiatives.

About customers
Sex workers from Slovakian capital Bratislava talk in the club Podchod run by the SWAN member from Slovakia about their relationship with customers. More

End-demand: global response
What sex workers globally do to counter end-demand policies by their governments? Here are two examples – from the Italian city of Padua. More

Prostitution – which stance to take?
A document, recently published by the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, addresses trafficking, forced prostitution, child prostitution and voluntary prostitution. More

Declaration on universal access to health care for sex workers
Declaration entitled Universal Access to Health Care for Sex Workers without Stigma or Discrimination was adopted at the Community Forum of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Sex Workers. More


Human Rights Advocacy and Globalization
This human rights training program at the Columbia University in New York will begin in mid-August and run until mid-December 2008. Complete applications are due by October 9, 2007. More

„Basing one’s judgment on respect for human dignity does not mean taking a moralistic approach, however. It means respecting people’s decisions and choices as long as they harm no-one else.”
-- From Prostitution – which stance to take? - a Draft Resolution on Prostitution released recently by the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council

"The moral judgment placed on sex work functions as a means of control that manifests through jokes, verbal aggression, physical aggression, persecution and murder. The great majority of these incidents take place in a climate of total indifference from those officials who are supposed to guarantee safety and order; worse still, it is often law enforcement officials themselves perpetrating these abuses."
-- Angela Villon of Peruvian sex worker group Miluska, Vida y Dignidad at the 2007 International Conference on HIV-AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean


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.

Spain divided over semi-legal prostitution
The sex worker trade in Spain turns over an estimated 40 billion euros annually, earning it the nickname the "brothel of Europe."

Madrid, 29 August, 2007 -- Is prostitution a form of violence and exploitation of women, which should be banned or a job like any other, which should be regulated?
The question has divided Europe, with Sweden trying to eradicate prostitution by penalizing the clients, while others such as the Netherlands have legalized the trade.
For Spanish legislators, however, prostitution proved too tough a nut to crack. More

Sofia Echo, Bulgaria
Bulgaria's working girls
A news article published this summer describes the current situation in the sex work industry in Bulgaria, and outlines the ongoing public discussion about draft legislation to regulate prostitution. More

Standart News, Bulgaria
Big Brother hounds prostitutes in Bulgaria
Blagoevgrad, July 2007 -- Big Brother will fight against the prostitution and thugs in Sandanski, a Black Sea resort in Bulgaria. Video-cameras will spy from everywhere in the resort. This is a recent decision of the local parliament. In a special declaration the Municipality councilors confessed that there is prostitution in the resort and that they do not want Sandanski to be stigmatized as a “Sin city”. More

TOL, Czech Republic
Prostitution in Kazakhstan: abuse and risk
Almaty, 29 August 2007 -- Prostitution occupies a legal gray area in Kazakhstan. It is not illegal, but running a brothel or forcing someone into prostitution is. The police, reflecting their own culture’s disapproval of the trade, shrug off abuse of prostitutes, and sometimes join in. Working alone then, without a protector – usually a pimp – puts the women at great risk. More

Norwich Evening News, UK
Concerns over plans to jail sex workers
15 August 2007 -- The new Criminal Justice and Immigration bill, due to be debated in parliament in October, is expected to give magistrates powers to detain soliciting prostitutes in prison for up to three days. Currently they only have the power to hand out fines or measures such as anti-social behaviour orders, which can lead to prison sentences if breached. More

Suffolk Evening Star, UK
Sex workers to be counseled
15 August 2007 -- Prostitutes in Ipswich will be made to attend counseling sessions if they are arrested for working the streets and face jail time if they don't show up. Controversial proposals will see convicted working girls ordered to attend three meetings with a specialist counselor in an effort to get them out of prostitution. However, if they fail to show magistrates will be granted the power to jail them on remand for up to three days. More

Pakistan 'prostitutes' beheaded
Islamabad, 7 September 2007 -- Suspected Islamic militants in north-western Pakistan have beheaded two women they accused of being prostitutes, police say. A note found on the bodies accused the women of "acts of obscenity", a term that usually refers to prostitution. More

Gulf News, Arab Emirates
Man and teenager face trial for working as sex workers
Dubai, 19 August, 2007 -- A 25-year-old man has pleaded innocent against working as a male sex worker and wearing women's outfits in public, heard a court on Sunday. More

The Guardian, UK
'It's like you sign a contract to be raped'
Las Vegas, 7 September, 2007 -- If you believe their PR, Nevada's legal brothels are safe, healthy - even fun - places in which to work. So why do so many prostitutes tell such horrific tales of abuse? More

Phayul, Tibet
China cracks down on AIDS groups ahead of Olympics
Beijing, 17 August, 2007 -- Wary of exposing China's flaws to the news media's glare before next year's Olympic Games, authorities are cracking down on groups that help AIDS victims and orphans, shuttering their offices and banning meetings and other gatherings… More

AFP, France
Reported violence against Cambodian women rising: rights group
Phnom Penh, 3 August, 2007 -- Reported attacks against Cambodian women are increasing, a prominent rights group said Friday, adding that the government was doing little to address the problem. Gang rape has also emerged as a disturbing trend, but also remains largely unchecked because it is often committed against sex workers with little or no legal options available to them. More

Pahrump Valley Times, USA
Panel: Brothels aid sex trafficking
Las Vegas -- "Pretty Woman is only a movie. Ain't no Richard Gere running out there trying to pick up your body," said Brenda Myers Powell, a founding member of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation…. More

Times of India, India
The Oldest Trade
Are suggested changes going to make life better for our sex workers? Yes and no
8 Sep 2007 -- Yes, because it acknowledges that women become prostitutes either out of choice or coercion, and cannot be penalised in either case. No, because it is a half-way measure that replaces one set of ambiguities with another. It penalises clients and agents on whom sex workers depend for a livelihood. More

Bill to Legalize Western Australia's Brothels Introduced To State Parliament
Perth, 29 August, 2007 -- A bill to regulate Western Australia's sex industry has been introduced into state parliament despite the opposition of Christian leaders such as Perth's Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey. The archbishop has called on members of parliament to oppose the bill. More

Red Tra Sex Boletin, 2007
Transvestite sex workers unite in Argentina to protect their own rights
Daniela Castro, of the Association for Equal Rights in Argentina, spoke at the 2007 International Conference on HIV-AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean of the difficulties of being both a transvestite and a sex worker. More

The Canadian Press, Canada
Former journalist plans to open co-op brothel for Victoria prostitutes
Victoria, 1 September 2007 – She has run a newsroom at a daily newspaper but now she wants to build a co-op brothel, run by and for prostitutes. Jody Paterson chuckles when she considers the career change from managing editor to madame of Victoria. More

Art Threat Magazine, Canada
GPS Shoes Designed to Protect Sex Workers
7 September, 2007 -- The Platform 101 is a shoe designed for sex work - in particular, with the safety of the workers in mind. The shoes come equipped with a built in audible alarm system, hidden safety compartment for stashing keys, cash, condoms, etc., and a customized version of Rave Guardian, a wireless emergency signal and GPS locator allowing the wearer to send a call for help and give their location through GPS. More


The article on UNAIDS Guidance on HIV and Sex Work, written by Vitaly Djuma, Director of the Russian Harm Reduction Network, and published in the June issue of the SWAN News, was by mistake not contributed to its author. We apologize to Mr. Djuma and to our readers.


Dear readers,

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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. More

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