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You Must Know About Me – Macedonian Sex Workers’ Campaign Video

In Macedonia, as throughout the world, sex workers are pushed to the margins of society by a combination of prejudice, discrimination, and violence. Insults and hate plague their lives, pervade media reports, and direct the approach of social institutions. But the lives and livelihoods of sex workers comprise of much more and the conviction remains that the selling of sexual services does not justify denial of fundamental rights, to which all human beings are entitled.

“You Must Know About Me” is a first-hand account of sex workers’ experiences and aspirations off and on the streets prepared by HOPS, SWAN's member organization in Macedonia. While dealing with the harassment and violence from clients, pimps, and the police, sex workers strive to counter the hostile public attitude by speaking out and fighting for basic rights. The video calls for zero tolerance of violence against sex workers, adequate investigation and prosecution of perpetrators, and coordinated response of social institutions to the actual needs of sex workers.
In a large part of the video, sex workers give detailed account of a police raid where they were all taken in police custody and subjected to inhumane, degrading and humiliating treatment overnight. Next day, it turned out that they were detained for the criminal act of spreading infectious diseases. In groups of five the women were taken to a clinic for AIDS-screening, despite the fact that they are regularly screened for STD-s. The sex workers were exposed to the media with their health status revealed.

The production of the film was made possible by WITNESS, who provided training, consultation and editing assistance. WITNESS  is a human rights organization that uses video to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. WITNESS empowers people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change.

Watch video here.