This document has been developed for sex workers’ rights activists as a template on how to approach some of the most commonly asked questions by media representatives. It can be intimidating for activists with no experience to work with journalists and you might not feel confident enough to engage with them. But sex workers have the real-life knowledge from their experiences, and this makes them an expert on sex work. Still, it is important that sex workers feel able to communicate their thoughts and arguments in a way that is useful and safe for themselves, for their community and sex workers’ rights. We hope that this guide will give some directions so that sex workers can become more confident. This document is not meant to tell sex workers what they should think or say but merely to make them aware of the common topic of interests shown by media when talking about sex work and of the rhetoric commonly used by sex workers? rights movement to tackle these questions.View
Publications & Tools
We have organised our growing library of publications and tools to better serve the sex worker-led movement, funders, and allies. We have highlighted key topics that intersect with our work including participatory grantmaking, donor finders, and other work contributed from regional networks, sex worker funders, and other organisations that support sex worker rights.
From the Funding for Real Change collaboration with Edge, this toolkit focuses on supporting funders that want to learn more about providing multi-year core, flexible funding. “To help funders and nonprofits harness this positive momentum for change, we offer this tool kit of tactics, resources, examples, and starting points. We seek to equip trustees, CEOs, program officers, and grantees themselves to overcome board biases and other barriers, to accelerate the shift to multiyear, flexible funding, and to embrace practices that create the greatest impact and strongest partnerships with their grantees.”View
The European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance is proud to launch its latest Impact Report which highlights our key successes between 2010-2020. This report aims to educate members, partners, funders and other stakeholders on the impact of ESWA work over the last 10 years in areas such as advocacy, policy, capacity building and sub granting to its members. In these turbulent political times, fighting for sex workers’ rights and promoting a human rights and public health-based approach to sex work can be very challenging. We hope this Impact Report highlights some of the important changes ESWA and its members have achieved in our region.View
“The lives of LGBTQ sex workers in Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia are impacted by many hardships, including precarious living conditions, various forms and levels of criminalisation and discrimination as well as violence and human rights violations. […] This briefing paper developed by SWAN aims to fill the gap in knowledge about LGBTQ sex workers in Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.” Available in English and Russian.View
“For racialised sex workers, many of whom are (undocumented) migrants, the racism and discrimination they experience is structurally rooted in a socio-political landscape that includes anti-sex work, anti-trafficking, and anti-immigration (ASWTI) laws and policies. This community report explores how racism is entangled in ASWTI legislation in Europe. To do so, the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance (ESWA) conducted a literature review on the history of sexualised racism in the European context and racism in global and national sex work policies and laws.”View
The last decade saw increasing attacks against sex worker communities globally, not only from governments and political actors but also from abolitionist feminist activists. While governments chose to tackle ?the issue of prostitution? through punitive, rather than social measures by directly criminalizing sex workers, or indirectly punishing them by offences of drug use and possession, homelessness, hooliganism or vagrancy, abolitionist feminists mobilized and lobbied for the introduction of the criminalization of clients (also known as the Swedish Model). This model criminalizes the purchase of sexual services, at the same time it pushes sex workers into clandestine working environments, exposing them to health risks and violence.
In Central-Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA), similar abolitionist proposals so far have not reached legislative levels, but public debates surrounding sex work have intensified. In the region, abolitionist feminists might not have very close ties to governments (yet), however, they shape public opinion through their platforms and media connections, and frequently (cyber-)bully sex worker rights activists.View
This briefing paper presents the findings of a mapping exercise undertaken by the Sex Workers’ Advocacy Network (SWAN) in early 2021. It explores the situation and needs of migrant sex workers in the Central, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia region (CEECA). Despite the significant scale of migration of sex workers throughout the region, there is a lack of available research on the specific experiences of migrant sex workers and what support is available to them.View
The report and toolkit where developed by AIDSfonds as part of the Hands Off! and Briding the Gaps programs. The Hands Off! programme (2015-2019) aimed to contribute to the reduction of violence against sex workers and HIV infection in five countries. Bridging the Gaps (2015-2020) aimed to prevent new HIV infections among sex workers in 11 countries. Sex workers know best! is an operational study on the effects of hosting constructions on sex worker-led programmes. This study was conducted by Aidsfonds in 2018 and includes an executive summary.
The key question of this study is the degree of effectiveness of hosting relationships for sex worker-led organisations to become strong and independent entities that are able to claim their rights to end violence and HIV among sex workers. The study was conducted in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Myanmar, South Africa, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.View