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IV All-Ukrainian Forum of the Community of Sex Workers of Ukraine

10 Jan 2022 16:01:44

The 4th All-Ukrainian Forum of the Community of Sex Workers of Ukraine was held on December 10-11, 2021.

Despite bad weather, quarantine pandemic restrictions and tight schedules at the end of the year – the Forum was held, and it was bright, successful and, at the same time, cozy and warm. It was nice to see how each of us developed and grow both professionally and personally!

Our Forum is unique opportunity both for new activists – to get acquainted with the organization of the community, with its goals, principles – and for “veteran” leaders to exchange experience and to motivate each other.

Like in previous years this time our Forum was also attended by activists and leaders of sex community from many regions of Ukraine.

The Forum program consisted of the following activities:

Analysis of the implementation of SW Community Strategic Plan for 2021-2023 years.

Analysis of current challenges, taking into account the pandemic and increasing vulnerability of sex workers to violence and rights violations.

Analysis of the implementation of the advocacy strategy for the decriminalization of sex work and the information campaign in support of the advocacy strategy for the decriminalization of sex work in Ukraine in 2021.

Community Improvement Planning for 2022.

Analyzing the community development plans, among other things, sex workers talked about the problem of growing violence and discussed the community position on supporting the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. Sergei Dmytriyev, a chaplain from Eleos-Ukraine organization, visited the Forum to take part in this discussion. Father Sergei explained to delegates how the Convention will help to improve safety of sex workers, and suggested joining forces of CO “Legalife-Ukraine” leaders and Eleos-Ukraine representatives in the regions to support those, who have already been victims of violence and lawlessness.

Sergey Dmitriev, chaplain, representative of Eleos-Ukraine

We are proud that what recently seemed impossible and unfeasible has now become a reality. For the fourth year in a row, sex workers from different regions of Ukraine come together, without hiding, openly declaring their existence.

Thanks to our coaches Olena Vertynska and Alina Kotenko! They managed to set participants up for team work and created an incredible atmosphere of mutual support and understanding.

Olena Vertynska, Alina Kotenko and Svetlana Makogon (CO “Legalife-Ukraine”)

The Forum of CO “Legalife-Ukraine” ended up with workshops of wonderful coaches Elena Vertynska and Alina Kotenko – thank you for helping me to get closer to my dream and discover myself in a new perspective,” – said Svetlana Makogon, head of the office of CO “Legalife-Ukraine” in Kryvyi Rih.

All our work took place in such a calm and warm atmosphere – our team spirit was felt every minute! Such events inspire us, as leaders, to continue our work in advocacy and mobilization for community development! ” – said Marina Gridina-Pogorelaya, head of the Poltava office of CO “Legalife-Ukraine”.

We are grateful to our partners CO “100 PERCENT OF LIFE” for support of sex work community of Ukraine which is happening within the framework of the project «Acceleration of progress in reducing the severity of tuberculosis and HIV infection in Ukraine» which is implemented with the financial support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.