Regional updates: Europe

Our members are listed on the left or you can click the red umbrellas on the map.

Regional Board Members

Nataliia Isaieva (Legalife-Ukraine), Ukraine.

Dinah de Riquet-Bons (STRASS), France.

Regional Networks

The International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) is a European network of sex workers and allies across Europe and Central Asia. It was formed in 2004 to organise the 2005 European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labour and Migration and is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network for Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (SWAN) is a network of sex workers' groups and civil society. SWAN started in 2006 as a project within Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU/TASZ) and became an independent organisation in 2012 and is based in Budapest, Hungary.

News articles from Europe region are listed below.

Regional updates

17th November 2016 | Region: Europe

Niurkeli, a 33-year-old transgender sex worker, was murdered by a client in Nantes, France. Niurkeli was migrant sex worker of Ecuadorian origin. She was living in Paris with her family. Since 2014 her work conditions have deteriorated. “She was known in the sex worker community and often went to demos for sex workers' rights and against criminalisation,” said Thierry Schaffauser from STRASS.

13th October 2016 | Region: Europe

Laura Lee has won High Court permission to challenge a new law criminalising clients in Northern Ireland. She will also challenge Ireland's brothel keeping laws.

In 2015, Northern Ireland adopted the “Swedish Model”, which criminalises the clients of sex workers, despite the fact that “independent research by Northern Ireland’s Department of Justice showed that no locally based sex workers surveyed supported criminalising the purchase of sex, with 61 percent believing it would make them less safe and 85 per cent saying it would not reduce sex trafficking.”

5th September 2016 | Region: Europe

A research project on human rights abuses experienced by sex workers was conducted by “Amelia” NGO and released on the 5 of November, 2015. The project was financially supported by SWAN and the Robert Carr Foundation.

31st August 2016 | Region: Europe

Iceland adopted the harmful “Swedish Model” in 2009, which criminalises the clients of sex workers.. There is no sex worker-led organisation or service provider for sex workers in Iceland. Stígamót - Education and Counseling Center for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Violence - is the only organisation that provides services to sex workers. However, they consider all sex workers as victims of violence.

21st August 2016 | Region: Europe

Violent attacks against transgender people in Turkey continue unabated.

Hande Kader, a 23-year-old transgender woman based in Istanbul, disappeared a little over one week ago.

14th July 2016 | Region: Europe

A regional training on the SWIT (Sex Worker Implementation Tool) took place in Budapest on 21-25 June 2016. Teams from 7 countries attended the training: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia. Among them were female, male and transgender sex workers.

15th June 2016 | Region: Europe

A majority of Members of Parliament (MPs) in Holland are supporting plans to make it an offence to pay for sex if sex workers are known or suspected to be victims of human trafficking. Sex work itself is legal in Holland.

24th May 2016 | Region: Europe

This following text has been translated by NSWP’s European Regional Correspondent. The text is from a petition entitled “Punish Vyacheslav Datsika of Beatings and Abuse of Sex Workers in St. Petersburg!” on Change.org. NSWP member Silver Rose encourages the global sex work community to sign this petition. NSWP has reported on the violence experienced by sex workers in Russia during this incident here.

18th May 2016 | Region: Europe

During the night of 17th to 18th of May, Viacheslav Datsik and his supporters illegally raided a brothel (known as a “salon” in Russia) in St Petersburg where 10 sex workers were working. The salon was on the 11th Line of Vasilyevsky Island. He broke down the door and under the threat of beating the women working there he forced them to undress completely, and then took them to the police naked.

11th May 2016 | Region: Europe

The State council in the district of Saint-Josse, Brussels, ordered the suspension of the police regulation of window sex work on the 30th of November, 2015.

13th April 2016 | Region: Europe

The French Parliament passed a bill on the 6th of April, 2016 which makes it illegal to pay for sex in France. Selling sex remains legal. The bill passed 64 to 12 in the National Assembly, France’s lower house, with 501 deputies abstaining from the vote.

30th March 2016 | Region: Europe

In the 1980s, in response to rising HIV infections, Edinburgh City Council developed a licensed brothel system giving “saunas” public entertainment licenses knowing that sex was being sold on the premises. The local police force, Lothian and Borders Police, supported this system and would perform annual inspections on the saunas and support the renewal of their licenses.

28th March 2016 | Region: Europe

Amendments to the public nuisance laws in Serbia, known as “Public Law and Order” laws, increased penalties for sex work related offences. Anti-sex work campaigners pushed the government to introduce amendments that would also punish the clients of sex workers. The new laws punishes everyone who disturbs ‘public order and peace’ including noisy neighbours, panhandling, burning pyrotechnic products, organising gambling, etc.

15th March 2016 | Region: Europe

As Macedonian civil society organisation HOPS reports, sex workers in Macedonia have been awarded protection against the unlawful treatment of the police and the criminal court for the second time.

4th March 2016 | Region: Europe

The City Council of Alicante, Spain has approved the repeal of the bylaw on panhandling and sex work adopted by the previous government.