NSWP members are marking International Sex Workers’ Rights Day on 3rd March 2024

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Submitted by NSWP on 1st March 2024

Sex worker groups around the world hold events and actions to mark International Sex Workers’ Rights Day, which is held annually on 3rd March.

This day’s history goes back to 2001, when over 25,000 sex workers gathered in India for a festival despite efforts from prohibitionist groups who tried to prevent it taking place by pressuring the government to revoke their permit.  The event was organised by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a Calcutta based group that has over 50,000 sex worker members, and members of their communities.  Sex worker groups across the world have subsequently celebrated 3rd March as an annual, international event: International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.

NSWP uses International Sex Workers’ Rights Day as a chance to focus on the theme of labour rights. Where sex work is criminalised, sex workers’ workplaces are often excluded from national labour laws. This creates an environment where sex workers have no option but to accept exploitative working conditions. The struggle for the recognition of sex work as work is closely tied to the struggle for decriminalisation.

This year, NSWP members are holding a host of different activities to mark the day.

You can explore NSWP resources on the theme of ‘labour’ here: https://www.nswp.org/resources/theme_rs/8

Africa

Key Affected Populations Alliance of Lesotho (KAPAL) advocate for the human rights and health rights of sex workers in Lesotho. To mark the day, they have bought a slot on the local radio station in the local official language. KAPAL plan to engage in a dialogue with communities through radio – including hard to reach communities.

Asia and the Pacific

In IndonesiaOPSI (Organisasi Perubahan Sosial Indonesia) will make a campaign through social media in the form of a video.

In Brisnane, AustraliaRespect Inc is having a screening on Fly in Power on Sunday 3rd March at 1pm. Lunch will be provided. There will be a Q&A with the producer after the film and a statement from AMSWAG (Asian Migrant Sex Worker Advisory Group). All donations go to AMSWAG. There will be a cash bar. Get your tickets here

Europe

TAMPEP, a migrant sex worker-led network, are sharing events from members in their network and sharing their campaign Europe has forgotten the Human Rights of Migrant Sex Workers. They will be posting on their social media throughout the day on 3rd March and here they have selected just a few events as examples of struggle, abuse and resistance.

"Association LEFÖ, Vienna, Austria

PATRIARCHAL VIOLENCE KILLS!

On 23 February 2024, three sex workers were brutally murdered in a brothel in Vienna’s Brigittenau. In a matter of days, 2 other women and a girl were murdered. Femicides are the deadliest form of patriarchal violence and an expression of structural violence against women*, socio-political power relations and racist structures.

The specific violence against sex workers is primarily structural in its origin, as it is based on sexist and moralising ideologies. 

In this occasion the Alliance Pro Sex Work + Queer Sex Workers Collective draws attention to the specific experiences of violence and the and the socio-political stigmatisation of sex workers in Austria and call for the destigmatisation of sex work and a comprehensive, non-discriminatory protection against violence for sex workers!

Verein LEFÖ, Wien Österreich

PATRIARCHALE GEWALT TÖTET!

In tiefer Trauer und erschüttert über die Femizide, die am Freitag, 23. Februar 2024 in Wien Brigittenau passiert sind, widmen wir all unsere Kraft den Hinterbliebenen und der Community. In Gedanken sind wir bei ihnen und bei den Opfern dieser grausamen Tat.

SEXARBEITERINNEN*RECHTE SIND FRAUEN*RECHTE! 

PHOTO EXHIBITION IN HAMBURG, GERMANY

The photo exhibition SEX WORK, A NORMAL LIFE shows sex workers at work and in their everyday lives in Germany, during the covid pandemic period. 

The exhibition presents photos and texts of these sex workers, which are part of the book of the same name by Tim Oehler. 

It will be held in Hamburg from 4 to 7 March 2024, from 6 to 10 pm.

Over the four evenings, the public will have the chance to talk to Tim Oehler, sex workers and social workers, to discuss the stigma and discrimination surrounding sex work.

https://www.instagram.com/ratschlag_prostitution_hamburg/

Kein leichtes Mädchen. Käuflicher Liederabend

NOT AN EASY GIRL. A SONG RECITAL FOR SALE

Elisabeth de Roo, an Austrian artist, explains: “This play is a monologue interwoven with art songs from Franz Schubert to Richard Strauss. As the basis for my song recital "Kein leichtes Mädchen. Käuflicher Liederabend" (Not an easy girl. A song recital for sale) I interviewed 98 sex workers in Austria and Germany. These interviews resulted in the full-length story of the singer Felicitas.”

The play will be revived at Treibhaus in Innsbruck in time for International Women’s Day on 8 March 2024. Before that, it can be seen in Kufstein at the fortress on 2 March and will then travel to the Schauspielhaus in Salzburg in May and June 2024 and to Studio 3 at ORF Vienna on 1 June.

The play is about 90 minutes long.

A HIGHLY POLITICAL PROCEEDING

In 2023, Ruby Rebelde received a legal warning for certain statements by the organisation ‘Sisters’, a group campaigning for the introduction of the “end of demand” or the so-called “Nordic model” in Germany.

On 9th February 2024, the court announced the ruling. The judge amended the previous judgment of the Berlin Regional Court from July 2023 and dismissed the injunction refraining Ruby Rebelde from making certain statements about the organisation “Sisters”.

"Sex workers must have their say in the debate about themselves and their work. What we have to say may be unpleasant for some. The reason is too little knowledge about the historical and ongoing persecution and discrimination of "prostitutes", which has hardly been dealt with. But shutting us up is the wrong approach," says Ruby Rebelde after the court hearing. "It is appropriate to deal with our own history. The verdict is a positive signal and a small success."

In North Macedonia, STAR-The First Sex Workers Collective in the Balkans dedicates their campaign for commemorating March 3rd – the International Sex Workers’ Rights Day to sex workers’ digital rights and security with a campaign titled Digital Rights are Fundamental Human Rights, which is to last from 1st to 8th March. 

During the one-week campaign STAR will promote an Analysis of Current Legal Frame in North Macedonia Regarding Sex Workers’ Digital Rights and Security. The analysis aims to show how the stigma towards sex work and the lack of a legal framework for decriminalization negatively affect the exercise of digital rights and the digital security of sex workers in North Macedonia.

The entire online campaign can be followed on STAR-STAR’s Facebook page and for more information about the campaign, visit STAR-STAR’s website

Latin America

PLAPERTS is an NSWP member and the regional platform for Latin America. When spelled out, the acronym stands for “Plataforma Latinoamericana de Personas que ejercen el Trabajo Sexual”, which means “Latin American Platform of People who do Sex Work.” They are hosting a webinar online that will take place on 4th March.

“International Webinar: Sex Work & Human Rights

Faced with the stigma and institutional invisibilization of the rights of sex workers, the Sex Workers’ Rights, this International Day for the Rights of Sex Workers, we challenge the stigmatization of Sex Work.

4PM (Ecuador time)

REGISTER HERE: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqce6qrD0qGNCEwPRnPNRUzoUELhwfGNZy

We will have translation in Portuguese.

Webinario Internacional: Trabajo Sexual & Derechos Humanos

Frente al estigma e invisibilización institucional de los derechos de las Personas que Ejercen el Trabajo Sexual, este Día Internacional de los Derechos del Trabajo Sexual desafiamos los estigmas.

4 de Marzo
4PM (hora Ecuador)

INSCRÍBETE AQUÍ: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqce6qrD0qGNCEwPRnPNRUzoUELhwfGNZy

Tendremo traducciòn en portuges.”

North America and the Caribbean

In Canada, Sex Works of Winnipeg Action Coalition (SWWAC) is hosting an event on 3rd March.

"Please join us on March 3rd, 2024, for International Sex Worker Rights Day. This year, we wanted to gather & be together with community. Please feel free to drop by anytime between 12 and 2pm. We will be in Bonnycastle park, on picnic tables, near the dog park! There will be pizza (GF, Vegan, Veggie, Meat). There will be cookies from @eadhacoop There will be water and coffee. We will have masks & hand sanitizer. There will be friendly folks! We hope you will join us. Please bring your dogs, if you have them! Cats are always welcome, of course, but we know that cats tend to prefer to remain at home. See you then!"

In the United StatesRed Light District by TW!O is organising a Write the Capitol Day mobilisation for March 3rd. A toolkit detailing legislation to watch, voter education resources, laws related to ‘prostitution, pandering, and pimping’ still on the books in Georgia, and sample letters will also be available on the Red Light District website on 1st March. 

Source portal NSWP

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