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By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

1 December 2006 -- Alma Ata, Barnaul, Bishkek, Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Kiev, Prague, Riga, Saint Petersburg, Skopje, Sofia, Tirana, Vilnius, Warsaw
Today is December 1, the World AIDS Day.
On this day, we, representatives of 16 NGOs from 15 countries, would like to warn the governments in our region that the world is facing an unprecedented human catastrophe. A quarter of a century into the pandemic, AIDS has inflicted immense suffering on countries and communities throughout the world:

• Every day 14,000 new HIV infections occur, and 8000 people die of AIDS
• So far more than 25 million people have died of AIDS
• 40 million are currently living with HIV
• 15 million children have been orphaned by AIDS
• Half of all new HIV infections are among young people under the age of 25

So called “marginalized groups” are more threatened by the HIV pandemic than the general population. Among them are sex workers. More

By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

"Sex workers are part of the solution in the fight against HIV. And sex workers need workers' rights and human rights in order to fight AIDS."
-- Anna-Louise Crago of Stella, a Montreal-based support group for sex workers at the 2006 International AIDS Conference, Toronto, Canada.

A report released last year warns of HIV crisis in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, if policies protecting sex workers and public are not created. It shows that this region experiences one of the fastest-growing and mainly drug use-driven HIV epidemics in the world. It also shows that sex work, drug use, and HIV are inextricably linked. Comprehensive action and greater commitment is critical to prevent the spread of HIV among sex workers and into the general population, says the report produced by Central and Eastern European Harm Reduction Network. More

By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

In addition to translating into national languages and distributing to the media the Swan Statement on The Occasion of the World AIDS Day (see the full text at the beginning of this issue of the News), SWAN members organized a number of public events on and around 1 December. More

By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

More than 400 sex workers from Romania’s capital Bucharest will from mid-December be able to get free of charge rapid test and counseling for HIV, Hepatitis B and C and Syphilis. The voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) will be carried out by an outreach team of the Romanian NGO ARAS, member of the SWAN Network, in the places where sex workers work and live. The team will use “Social Ambulance”, a vehicle designed for providing services to sex workers. More

By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

TADA, SWAN member from Poland, recently adopted a new system to collect data on social and health problems of sex workers, their access to social and medical services and opinion about legalization of sex work.
TADA’s aim is to identify the main problems of sex workers in the different regions of the country. Data analysis will point to the advantages and disadvantages of possible legalization of sex work. More

By olga on Dec 25th, 2006

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 Serbian, thanks to the Jazas, SWAN Member from Serbia. More

By adam on Oct 1st, 2006

Sex Work is illegal in Albania. The Penal Code anticipates a punishment varying from a simple fine up to three years of detention for persons practicing commercial sex.
Excerpt from a study made by the Albanian Institute for Public Health and Aksion Plus, SWAN Member from Albania, on sex work situation in this South-East European country. Edited by SWAN News
Sex work is a relatively new phenomenon in Albania, dating from the early nineties. According to some reports from Albanian police and juridical system, almost 70% of female sex workers in and from this country have been dragged into the business forcibly and/or by fraud, through marriages “for a better life” abroad. Trafficked are usually girls from rural areas, from families with very difficult financial situation. Trafficking is managed by organized crime syndicates whose interests are spread across Europe. Although the fight of the state against human trafficking has been more effective in the recent years, partly due to the better international cooperation with the specialized bodies in the receiving countries, human trafficking for sex work is still considered the most “lucrative” crime, and Albania became one of the traffic routes from ex Soviet Union countries towards Western Europe.
Not all sex workers are trafficked. Sex work is a free choice of those sex workers who engage in the business as a result of the very difficult economical situation in the country. More

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