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Police Raids Held Against Sex Workers in Bulgaria

The police has strengthened measures against sex workers in most of the big cities in Bulgaria this summer. Targets of the police actions have been street workers, clubs and apartments offering sex services. Sex work is not persecuted by the Bulgarian law, but prostitutes are routinely fined on alternative grounds. Street workers are charged for “breaking public order” or “endangering traffic”. Both street and in-door sex workers are charged for “gaining money in an immoral way”, a clause introduced by the recent Amendment to the Public Order Law (November 2005).

Media reported several police raids. “Three sex clubs were raided in Sofia in beginning of August. Eight men were detained and charged for soliciting. Over 20 sex workers were found in the premises at the moment the police entered the three sex clubs” – reported a leading Bulgarian daily. Media published photography and video footage from the action. Featured was also a leaflet developed and distributed by HESED - a post card targeting clients of sex workers.

Photography from the raid, featuring the HESID leaflet, is available on this link of the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior: http://press.mvr.bg/News/news060803_02.htm?ill=heap  

Contact person: Anastas Mihaylov
E-mail: prohealth@hesed.bg  
Website: www.hesed.bg