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Today is the International Sex Workers' Day

Today, 2nd of June, sex workers and their allies celebrate the International Sex Workers’ Day. On this day in 1975, after massive police reprisals, about 100 sex workers and their supporters occupied Saint-Nizier Church in Lyon, France, protesting against their criminalised and exploitative working conditions, discrimination and abuse by law enforcement.

In 8 days the police raided the church and evicted the sex workers and allies. This event inspired the start of the worldwide sex workers’ movement, and celebration of June 2 as International Sex Workers’ Day.

Last year, the movement for sex worker’s rights received the support of important organisations, UNAIDS and Amnesty International, who are calling for decriminalisation of sex work.

As every year, on the International Sex Workers Day SWAN is calling for an end of violence against sex workers in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and worldwide. We condemn injustice against sex workers, corruption and laws that deteriorate their working conditions, ongoing attacks against sex workers, and scandalous and disrespectful media representation of sex work.

SWAN supports:

• protection of working, social, human rights of sex workers;

• meaningful involvement of sex workers in decision-making about sex work and their lives;

• an end to stigma, systematic abuse, oppression, discrimination, and other forms of violence against sex workers;

• removal of punitive laws around sex work