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C.A. Odyseus, Slovakia

C.A. Odyseus renders „low threshold services“ by a professional and expert team of workers. Prevailingly, these services target drug users, individuals offering sexual services on the streets and young people. Established in 1997, the organization provides services in the field of harm reduction, carries out outreach work, encourages self-help, arranges contacts between the major society and communities under threat and stands for and represents the interests of its target groups.

The main projects of C.A. Odyseus are:

Club Underpass – Club for street sexworkers with special focus on women working in sexbusiness. Club is open twice per week during evening hours, provides counselling, distributes condoms, lubricants, wet wipes, etc. The club has one peer educator and aims to establish a self support group of street sexworkers.

Protect Yourself – Outreach work project with special focus on drug users and street sexworkers. Provided are change of syringes, staffs for safer drug using and safer sex, syphilis antibodies testing, occasionally HIV, HCV and HBV antibodies testing, and social assistance services.

Community Center Kopčany – A center with special focus on children and young people from Kopčany (part of Bratislava).  The Kopčany community, a mixture of social groups, suffers lack of structured free time activities and counselling.

Festivals – C.A. Odyseus organizes information and educational stands at open-air festivals. Their main goal is to prevent risks and reduce harms related to the drug use and sexual behaviour in the community of young people.

C.A. Odysdeus is a member of CEE-HRN, CORRELATION, TAMPEP and SWAN networks. It is very difficult to find donors for the listed projects in Slovakia, predominantly catholic and traditional country.  Particularly controversial is the Club Underpass, which has been funded by foreign donors, Minority Rights Group International from London and Mama Cash from Netherlands.  Other projects are supported by the Antidrugs Fund of Slovak Republic, Ministry of Labour, Social Welfare and Family Care of Slovakia, International Women’s Club, Foundation for the Children of Slovakia, etc.

On the international level, C.A. Odyseus provides mapping of the prostitution scene and services for sexworkers in Slovakia.  It also aims to create a national network of organizations working with sexworkers. The mapping is done in the framework of the  European Network for Transnational AIDS/STI Prevention Among Migrant Prostitutes, funded by the EU.

„It is very difficult to establish national network because although there are just few organizations, their understanding of cooperation and ideas are quite different – says Lubica Tornoczyova from C.A. Odyseus.

„We also participated on European Conference on sex work, human rights, labour and migration organized by ICRSE in Brussels and we supported the ratification of Declaration of rights of sexworkers in the European Parliament.“

Contact person: Lubica Tornoczyova
Email address: podchod@ozodyseus.sk
Web site: www.ozodyseus.sk