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DECRIMINALIZATION OF SEX WORK IN UKRAINE: public opinion analysis, estimation of difficulties and possibilities

17 Sep 2019 13:09:36

This brochure includes main results of a sociological research on social and economical factors which can facilitate or hinder the processes of sex work decriminalization in Ukraine. This research was initiated and conducted in 2018 – 2019 by CO “Legalife-Ukraine” together with “Socioconsulting” Analytical Centre as part of the project «Bridging the Gaps – Sex Work programme» within the grant support of STOP AIDS NOW – Soa Aids Nederland.

A negative social convention still exists in post-Soviet Ukrainian society stigmatizing sex work and sex workers. This attitude has been formed for decades in the absence of sexual education, the criminalization of all forms of sex work and the public censure of people working in this field. In the process of studying public opinion, we faced the fact that the concept of “sex work” is not generally accepted and understandable for the majority, in the public mind there is no clear distinction between “sex work” and trafficking in persons or “prostitution”. Moreover, the subject of this study was not completely clear to the respondents: what is decriminalization, who can benefit from it, what are the prerequisites, expectations and possible consequences, etc.


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