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Petition on the occasion of the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, 2006

Today, on December 17, we would like to draw public attention to the fact that sex workers are more vulnerable to human rights abuses than the rest of the population. Sex work in Kyrgyzstan is decriminalized, but we, sex workers are still being bitten up, raped, and blackmailed. The law does not protect us. Our basic human rights are not acknowledged and are constantly violated. Since we are powerless, any man can do to us whatever he wants. This makes us even more vulnerable to the risk of HIV.

We are subjected to frequent police raids in order “to fight trafficking and restore public order”. But in reality the streets do not become safer and our girls are still being trafficked to the neighboring Kazakhstan as they had been before. We are not given the opportunity to earn for living, to feed our children and parents back in the villages, where we couldn’t find job. Police raids keep us from access to the knowledge and means to prevent infection, provided for our use. We are condemned to disease.

Racketeered by the police, we are not able to save money for accommodation. We are without shelter; our children cannot receive education and medical service guaranteed by the state to all the citizens of the country.

That is why:

· Sex workers of Bishkek request end to the police raids. Raids do not improve anything.

· Sex workers of Bishkek appeal to you to recognize that the rights of sex workers are the human rights.

· Sex workers of Bishkek appeal to you to understand that we are not a problem of the society. We are a part of the society and a part of the solution to its problems.

We do not wish to suffer from AIDS. We want to live for the sake of our children.

We don’t want our children to suffer. We want them to study, have food and shelter above their heads.
We demand the social assistance that is designed for us.

We will stand for our rights. Please support us!

Non-governmental organization “Tais Plus”, with the support of the international SWAN network.

Bishkek, 1 – 17 December, 2006

The text is signed by 316 sex workers from the following five cities:
Bishkek – 153 sex workers
Zhalalabat – 70 sex workers
Isfana – 16 sex workers
Karakol – 27 sex workers
Tokmok – 50 sex workers

For more detailed information and additional materials please contact:

Gulnara Kurmanova,
NGO “Tais Plus”, Bishkek,
Tel.: (+996 312) 547790; (+996 502) 860804
E-mail: volvoxinkg@yandex.ru

Shahnaz Islamova,
NGO “Tais Plus”, Bishkek,
Tel.: (+996 312) 544613; (+996 502) 733740
E-mail: shislamova@yandex.ru

Kristina Mahnchieva,
NGO “Tais Plus”, Bishkek,
Tel.: (+996 312) 547790; (+996 502) 438837
E-mail: krmahnicheva@yandex.ru