Facebook page of SWAN Twitter page of SWAN RSS feeds

site available in english and russian

  • English
  • Russian

SWAN News, Issue 14, Year 2, September 2007

* Response to the new UNAIDS Guidance Note on Sex Work
* Bulgaria Moves Away from Plans to Legalize Prostitution
* Don’t Ban Sex Work
* Slovakia: Inflammatory language in Hospodarske Noviny, a broadsheet owned by German Handelsblatt
* Macedonia: Documentation of human right violations of sex workers and LGBT population
* Bulgaria: Correlation conference held in Sofia
* Kazakhstan: Letter from abroad: peace, work and sex!
* Russia: Motor Rally “STOP AIDS” Helps Sex Workers
* Sex Worker Rights Communications Kit
* End-demand approach would endanger sex workers

Response to the new UNAIDS Guidance Note on Sex Work

SWAN News already wrote about the new UNAIDS Guidance Note on Sex Work in the issues 12 and 13: we provided a review of the paper, of the controversy it stirred, and introduced the global response and advocacy efforts by the sex worker community. In the meantime, sex workers’ organizations have prepared the first draft of their Reworked Guidance Note. More

Bulgaria Moves Away from Plans to Legalize Prostitution
In the last issue the SWAN News we wrote about the impending changes in the Bulgarian law concerning prostitution. Although the public discussion went in the direction of legalization it, a few days prior to the release of this issue of the SWAN News, the political climate abruptly changed and a new, restrictive law was announced, which would follow the Swedish model of penalizing the clients of sex workers. More

New York Times, October 13, 2007
Don’t Ban Sex Work
To the Editor:
Re “Bulgaria, Joining a European Trend, Won’t Legalize Prostitution” (news article, Oct. 6): Recent moves in Europe to ban sex work stem from flawed policies promoted by the Bush administration, conservative groups and some feminists who conflate sex work and trafficking. Playing fast and loose with these terms is the latest trend in the moral and political agenda to abolish all sex work. More

Slovakia: Inflammatory language in Hospodarske Noviny, a broadsheet owned by German Handelsblatt

In June this year the conservative Slovakian daily Hospodarske Noviny, associated with its sister publication of the same name in Czech Republic, and owned by the German respectful Handelsblatt group, published an inflammatory article full of derogatory terms, comparing sex workers to animals, claiming that they “deliver like cats” and that their genitals are “quite open” from opiates. More

Macedonia: Documentation of human right violations of sex workers and LGBT population
HOPS, SWAN member from Macedonia, together with other members of the Macedonian Harm Reduction Network (EGAL, MASSO and CGCP), started this summer a joint initiative for developing methodology for documentation of human right violations among sex workers and LGBT population in Macedonia, with focus on sexual and health rights violations. More

Bulgaria: Correlation conference held in Sofia
The Correlation network conference took place in Sofia from 27 to 29 September 2007. About 200 participants from 36 countries joined the event, which was hosted by the Bulgarian National Committee on Prevention of AIDS and STDs at the Council of Ministers. More

Kazakhstan: Letter from abroad: peace, work and sex!
This article was prepared by a Kazakh news reporter after the SWAN’s 2nd Annual meeting in Kiev. It aimed at informing the readers in Kazakhstan about human rights issues in the countries of the former Soviet Union and Central Europe and about the network of organizations advocating for human rights of sex workers in this region.
The article was prepared in collaboration with NGO Kovcheg, SWAN member from Kazakhstan. Although offered to all of them, the article was not published by any of the national newspapers for reasons unknown to SWAN team. More

Russia: Motor Rally “STOP AIDS” Helps Sex Workers
The head of Siberian Initiative board, Veniamin Volnov and its Program Director, Alexey Starostenko, took part in all-Russia motor rally “STOP AIDS” («СТОП СПИД»)  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 introduce a web-based Sex Worker Rights Communications Kit developed through a workgroup process led by the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center in New York. More

Handelsblatt-owned daily: sex workers “deliver like cats”, “opiates made their genitals quite open“
In a June 22 article about street childdren and prostitution in Slovakia, Slovakian economic daily Hospodárske Noviny claims that sex workers in Slovakian capital Bratislava “work their tails off and almost continually give birth”. It reports that a social worker (”the street-worker handing out condoms and syringes near the road”) told the reporter that “the local prostitutes deliver like cats, they literally bash out,” and that „opiates have made their genitals quite open.“ 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 provides an opportunity for 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.


End-demand approach would endanger sex workers
This month’s Sex Workers’ Report focuses on Poland. Interviewed are Justyna Sobeyko from TADA, SWAN member from Poland, and Maria, sex worker from the same country. More




"Prostitution is everywhere. It's in every single city in every single state in the U.S. Nevada is just smart enough to take that, legalize it and make money off of us."
-- Bree, a sex worker from Las Vegas, at a panel about Legal Brothels in Nevada held in September in Las Vegas

Women, Harm Reduction, and HIV: New IHRD Report
International Harm Reduction Program (IHRD) of the Open Society Institute recently released the report "Women, Harm Reduction, and HIV", which discusses the difficulties women drug users face in accessing harm reduction, drug treatment, and sexual and reproductive health services. More

Human Rights Watch LGBT Web Resources
Human Rights Watch has compiled a list of LGBT web resources for groups around the world that advocate for an end to discrimination and abuse based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This list is accessible here.

Language does matter: UNAIDS Terminology Guidelines
In March 2007 UNAIDS published its terminology guidelines. As we know very well, language does matter and in most cases it is not only a question of syntaxes. More



Justice Initiative Fellows Program at Central European University
The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the Open Society Institute (OSI), joins with Central European University (CEU) to announce the Justice Initiative Fellows Program for 2008-2010. More


Perspectives on Outreach Work in Europe
Reaching Youth at Risk, Working towards Social Inclusion
European Conference, 22-24 April 2008, Oslo, Norway. More

2008 Conference Diary
19th International Harm Reduction Conference (Barcelona, 2008), 2nd EECAAC HIV/AIDS Conference on Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Moscow, 2008), and 17th International AIDS Conference (Mexico City 2008) – for all these conferences deadlines are rapidly approaching for abstract submission and session proposals. 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 Washington Post, USA
Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence
September 23, 2007 -- A little-noticed worldwide war on human trafficking began at the end of the Clinton administration and is now a top Bush administration priority. As part of the fight, President Bush has blanketed the nation with 42 Justice Department task forces and spent more than $150 million -- all to find and help the estimated hundreds of thousands of victims of forced prostitution or labor in the United States. But the government couldn't find them. Not in this country. More


Metroactive, USA
Of Human Bondage
Review of the film 'Trade' By Richard von Busack
There are more than 300 million sex slaves in the United States, and this number is all the more alarming because I just made it up. More


Monsters and Critics.com, UK
Police to target trafficking in sex workers
October 3, 2007 -- A crackdown on trafficking sex workers into Britain has been announced today… The operation, known as Pentameter II follows on from initial work last year which freed 90 victims from 22 countries, and resulted in 232 arrests. More


Xtra.ca, Canada
'Safety' notes put sex workers at risk: AIDS group
Ottawa, October 3, 2007 -- Ottawa police will send letters to the owners of cars found cruising in known sex-work hotspots, they announced Oct 2. The AIDS Committee Of Ottawa (ACO) calls the decision "dangerous and discriminatory." More


Associated Press, US
Hungary Gives Entrepreneur’s Permits to Prostitutes
September 24, 2007, BUDAPEST-- In an effort to bring prostitutes into the legal economy, officials said Monday that Hungary will allow sex workers to apply for an entrepreneur's permit – a move that could generate government revenues from an industry worth an estimated $1 billion annually. More


Buzzle, USA
Amsterdam Closes a Window on its Red-light Tourist Trade
Amsterdam, September 22, 2007-- As the Dutch capital closes down a third of its brothels in an attempt to cut crime, Anushka Asthana spends a night in the city where the prostitutes are a tourist attraction. More


What we denounce, abhor and criminalize in this country, can be seen so differently in another culture
September 27th, 2007 -- I was thinking that their business was degrading and exploitive, and how women who are involved in it must have been grade school dropouts who had no other options but to sell their bodies on the street. Kylie and Debbie didn’t fit those stereotypes at all. They were college graduates. They chose to go into the business in part because it afforded them the opportunity to make a good living and to be their own bosses. More


Prince George Free Press, Canada
One in four sex workers in Canada asked for sex by police
September 21, 2007 -- According to a study by the Prince George New Hope Society, approximately one in four sex workers has been asked for sex by a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). More


Inter Press Service, Italy
Mexican Armed Forces accused of rape
Mexico City, October 4, 2007 -- The armed forces in Mexico are playing a central role in the security strategy ordered by President Felipe Calderón, but they are also being pilloried because of complaints that soldiers have raped exotic dancers in two states. More


Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand
Prostitute rape victims urged to come forward
Auckland, October 10 2007 -- Auckland sex workers who have been victims of rape are being urged by police to come forward. More


Independent Online, South Africa
South African sex workers accuse police force
Cape Town, September 18, 2007 -- Durban prostitutes who spoke to the Daily News say they are often persecuted by members of the police force. Charlotte is a call girl who operates from an agency in Morningside. She is adamant in her view that many South African police members are corrupt, and Durban was no exception. More


Miluska Press Release, Peru
Government Security Patrols Violence against Sex Workers in Lima
Sex workers in Lima attacked by government security patrols as they tried to deliver a statement to City Hall about the violence with which government security patrols are evicting sex workers from the neighborhood. More


Republic of Botswana, Botswana
Sex workers deserve protection, say residents
Kasane, October 5, 2007 -- Some Kasane residents have called for the formulation of laws to protect commercial sex workers. The residents, who attended a kgotla meeting for a public hearing on HIV/AIDS, called for such a law. More


Attta.org, Argentina
Trans sex workers in Argentina successfully oppose eviction campaign
Buenaos Aires, July 30, 2007 -- The conflict over the sale of sex in the city of Buenos Aires was reignited last week, when on Friday the 20th of July, the City Resolution #38 was made public. The resolution declared the area of Rosedal to be “an area where the offer or request of sexual services is not permitted.” More

Out in Perth, Australia
Empowering men who have sex with men to fight AIDS
By Kevin Frost and Dr. Chris Beyrer
August 2007 -- In 85 countries of the world, it is illegal for men to have sex with other men. Male-male sexual relationships are stigmatized, driving men to hide their activities from friends, family members and health workers, according to a recent report by the International Lesbian and Gay Association. More

Allentown Morning Call, USA
Must sex be a part of sex stings?
It's legal in this state, but some experts say it's unethical
September 23, 2007 -- Offended by a masseuse's offer to go beyond routine rubbing into something downright unprintable, the spa customer went to the state police and offered his services: He would take on the role of confidential informant and gather evidence of prostitution at North Whitehall's Shiatsu Spa.
He ended up having sex four times in the name of justice. More

Georgia Straight, Canada
Ex-hustler hopes to help men in sex trade
Vancouver, September 27, 2007 -- Sex work in our society is viewed primarily as a female issue, and this is what Taylor has been fighting since he exited the trade two years ago. He wants everybody to know that male sex work is its own serious issue. More

In the last issue of the SWAN News, in the article Big Brother Hounds Prostitutes in Bulgaria, the city of Sandanski is mentioned as a resort on the Black sea. While it is a resort, it is not on the Black Sea but on the opposite site of Bulgaria, close to the Greek border. We apologize to our readers.


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 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