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Tour of Changes from CO “Legalife-Ukraine”. 10 cities in 10 days!
Tour of Changes (#Турзмін) is not an election campaign, but a series of work meetings in the regions of Ukraine, conducted by the leaders of CO “Legalife-Ukraine” Nataliia Isaieva and Elena Fiskova.
During the first decade of October 2020, Elena and Nataliia did met the initiative groups of sex workers in the various regions of Ukraine. During this work meetings, they provided them with various material assistance, methodological materials and conducted educational trainings. During the trainings, they shared tools of implementation of programs for sex workers of SWIT, explained how decriminalization of sex work will change lifes of sex-workers, and did shared their experience of including a minimum package of prevention services for sex workers in the budget.
The objectives of the visits were:
1. To provide technical support to the branches of CO “Legalife-Ukraine” and to establish monitoring of information sessions for initiative groups of sex workers;
2. To conduct trainings for initiative groups of sex workers on the implementation of the SWIT tool in Ukraine – which are: information sessions and consultations with the aim of legal education of sex workers, motivating them to systematically collect data on violations of sex workers’ rights, to exchange experiences and to inform sex workers about the processes at the national level, collecting the needs of regional offices;
3. To establish cooperation with local NGOs, monitoring the current situation in the regions, discussing the next steps in the development of initiative groups and the community as a whole;
4. To meet up with representatives of local sex workers’ communities, informing them about the advocacy process for decriminalization of sex work in Ukraine and inviting regional initiative groups of sex workers to participate in advocacy activities of the CO “Legalife-Ukraine” on the national level.
Since the introduction of State funding for HIV services in Ukraine it is important to monitor the quality and accessibility of these services for the vulnerable groups. Therefore, within the framework of the Tour of Changes, information was collected on offers from sex workers to improve the quality and access to services for the subsequent submission of these proposals for discussion in the framework of working meetings at the National Council on Counteracting the Spread of Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
As part of the Tour of Changes, Nataliia Isaieva and Elena Fiskova had visited regional offices of CO «Legalife-Ukraine» in Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kryvyi Rih, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Poltava cities.
Maria Gridina-Pogorelaya, CO «Legalife-Ukraine», Poltava: “We were glad to meet up friends and we did invited activists of the sex workers’ community to an information session, which was traditionally held on the base of CO “Meridian”.
At the meeting Nataliia Isaieva was speaking about the decriminalization of sex work in Ukraine and how the sex industry would change if it were removed from the Criminal and Administrative Codes. As a matter of fact, Nataliia represents sex workers in the National Council to Combat Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, and we did talked about representing our interests there. Also we discussed our achievements. Nataliia and Elena brought brochures that briefly describe the differences between decriminalizing and legalizing of sex work. All brochures have been distributed, and we will discuss them in subsequent sessions later. Besides that, the «Short Guide for Sex Workers» SWIT was presented.
I want to thank the partners, who took part in our session – they are always helping and supporting us – specialists of СO «Meridian» Maria Dvigalo and Sergiy Gaponenko, as well as Vera Yakovenko, the regional coordinator of the VRU Commissioner for Human Rights in the Poltava region”.
During the Tour in all of the cities, office supplies, food and medical masks were transferred to the regional representative offices of the CO “Legalife-Ukraine”. In addition, in Vinnytsia and Kryvyi Rih, the mothers of newborns were given the packs of diapers.
In Odesa, together with representatives of the NGO Social Movement “Faith, Hope, Love”, 8 packs of diapers and packs of absorbent films for newborns were delivered to the “Sofia” center for women who are victims of various violence.
Lyudmila Zabolotnaya, “NGO Social Movement “Faith, Hope, Love”, Odesa: “On October 5, 2020, our guests were the leaders of the CO “Legalife-Ukraine” Natasha Isaieva and Elena Fiskova. They came up with gifts for the women at the «Sofia» rehabilitation center who had suffered from various forms of violence. We discussed prospects for cooperation, problematic issues of prevention and support of representatives of key groups.”
Photo report of the Tour of Changes from CO “Legalife-Ukraine”:
We thank the partners of our Tour of Changes: CO “100% LIFE”, SWAN, Aidsfonds Netherlands.