European Sex Workers conference in EU Parliament

27 11 2006

umbrella-3.gif

 

Sex Work, Human Rights, Labour, and Migration Conference

Location: Brussels, Belgium
Event Date(s): October 15, 2005 – October 17, 2005

At the conference “Sex Work, Human Rights, Labour, and Migration,” 120 sex workers from 26 countries gathered to develop a common platform for ending discrimination against the commercial sex industry and for demanding their rights. Organized by the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE), the conference gave sex workers the opportunity to collaborate with each other and with their allies from human rights, labor, and migration organizations (who joined them on October 16) to share expertise and determine future courses of action.

The conference grew out of several years of research into the problems facing sex workers in Europe, and led to the draft version of “The Declaration on the Rights of Sex Workers.” At the conference, participants refined the declaration and made recommendations regarding the protection of sex workers’ human rights, violence against sex workers, labor rights, migration, and trafficking. The final day of the conference was hosted by the Greens and European Free Alliance at the European Parliament where participants presented the final Declaration, Recommendations, and Sex Worker Manifesto. All three versions of the document are available for download below.

 blkfade.gif

 

Læs Europæiske Sex arbejders DECLARATION og MANIFESTO,  som vi – 120 Europæiske sex arbejdere,  har videreleveret til EU Parlamentet under vores konference d. 17 oktober 2005.

Declaration :
The Declaration of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe

The Declaration of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe

 

Manifesto :
Sex Workers in Europe Manifesto

Sex Workers in Europe MANIFESTO

 

blkfade.gif

European Sexworkers conference in EU

 VIP XCORTEN – Maj’s photoset:

 

European Sex Workers conference in EU – 17 oct. 2005

View as slideshow open in a new window 

euconf.jpg

blkfade.gif

European Sex Workers demonstration – Brussels – 17 oct. 2005

View as slideshow open in a new window 

eudemo.jpg

blkfade.gif

Sex Workers Ask EU to Respect Their ‘Rights’

By Eva Cahen
CNSNews.com Correspondent
October 27, 2005

(CNSNews.com) – European sex workers want European Union governments to respect their human rights and apply labor laws to their profession.The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE), a newly organized lobbying group, has issued a declaration intended to create awareness of their situation among elected representatives, governments, and non-governmental organizations.“Sex work is work and a profession, sex workers are workers and must be recognized as such,” reads the declaration.

According to the group, sex workers are often excluded from the application of human right and labor laws in many countries, merely because government policies “aim to make sex work invisible.”

The group also complains that prostitution is not recognized as legal labor.“We are just asking the governments to apply these rights to sex workers, who deserve them as much as anyone else,” said Petra Timmerman, a spokesperson for the ICRSE.The group’s declaration lists examples of rights violation that sex workers suffer throughout Europe because of their profession.

In
Greece for example, where sex work is legal, prostitutes are not allowed to marry but if they do, they lose their license to practice, making it impossible for them to combine family life with their profession.

In
France, grown children of sex workers can be charged with “living off” the sex worker’s income – pimping, in other words.

In
Portugal and other countries, sex workers sometimes lose custody of their children solely on the basis of their occupation.

In some countries, prostitutes are often presumed to be guilty and denied the right to a fair trial.Sex workers who are victims of violence sometimes are not given the support and protection of a nation’s laws just because they are prostitutes.Migrant and trafficked sex workers at times also are denied judicial protection because they lack legal residency permits.

Timmerman said that in most countries, while prostitution is legal or tolerated, sex work is made illegal through the activities tied to it.“For example, communication for the purpose of prostitution is illegal, and it is these kinds of laws that make it illegal to do your work without being a criminal in some way,” she said.

The declaration was created and endorsed by a group of some 200 sex workers from 30 countries gathered inBrussels on October 16 and 17 for the European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labor and Migration.

The conference was hosted by Monica Frassoni, an Italian Greens-European Free Alliance member of the European Parliament.The declaration will be presented to the European parliament for debate and a draft resolution.Recommendations formulated by the group say that giving sex workers the same human rights as everyone else could help protect them from violence, exploitation and human trafficking.“The more people are aware that they have rights to make decisions about their lives, the less vulnerable they are to exploitation,” said Timmerman.“If someone has the right to consider doing sex work in another country, it is likely they will not need to rely on illegal means to get there.”The group argues that sex workers should have the same protected rights that have been granted to other groups such as migrant laborers and agricultural workers.“If people are going to work, they should be working under the best possible conditions, with as many rights as possible, so they’re not at the mercy of people who want to exploit them,” said Timmerman.

Along with being able to enjoy full rights, sex workers would also become part of their society by paying taxes that would grant them the same rights to health care, schools and pensions as other citizens.“It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve for sex workers,” said Timmerman. “If you work and you pay taxes, you can walk into a hospital for health care.” 

blkfade.gif 

Sex workers meet in Brussels to demand labor rights  

18:15 2005-10-17


Sex workers from across the European Union met at the European Parliament on Monday to demand labor rights and an end to what they call repressive policies against prostitution.
Meeting under the auspices of Italian deputy Vittorio Emanuele Agnoletto, some 120 sex workers from 23 countries held a conference to exchange personal experiences from the street and major issues concerning prostitution, including the public image of the profession and working conditions. The participants – both organized and individual sex workers – demanded the same labor rights and social assistance as all other employees in
Europe, the AP reports.
Legislation on prostitution currently varies from country to country within the EU. In the Netherlands and theCzech
Republic, for example, prostitution is licensed and regulated by the state.
Conference participants were to hold a rally in downtown
Brussels later Monday to raise public awareness of the problem.
Agnolleto said he would initiate a debate on the issue at the EU assembly and draft a resolution.
A.M.

blkfade.gif 

RIGHTS:
Sex Workers Ask to Be Seen as Workers
Stefania BianchiBRUSSELS, Oct 18 (IPS) – A group of sex workers from across the European Union is demanding the same social rights as other employees, and calling for an end to “repressive policies” against prostitution.

Some 120 male and female sex workers from 23 countries met at the European Parliament Monday (Oct. 17) to urge the European Union (EU) to end discrimination against the sex industry.

“What we do is work and we want it recognised as that,” Ruth Morgan Thomas, a Scottish sex worker and organiser of the conference told media representatives Monday (Oct. 17).

Under the auspices of the Italian Socialist member of the European Parliament (MEP) Vittorio Emanuele Agnoletto, sex workers from the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE) discussed labour issues, migration and human rights. The committee is a Dutch-based lobby group of current and former prostitutes.

“We organised this conference in response to the increasingly repressive legislative policies and practices across Europe against sex workers and the sex industry,” said Morgan Thomas.

The sex workers say “repressive policies” on migration, public order and morality have led to the increasing vulnerability of sex workers. They insisted they were against all forms of human trafficking and exploitation.

“Anti-prostitution and anti-migration policies negatively affect the rights of sex workers, whereas increasing emphasis on citizen security, law and order and closing borders have impeded the growth of rights movements in general,” they said in their statement.

Camille Cabral, representing French sex workers, said it was time to end the stigma associated with the sex industry. “You shouldn’t hide yourselves, you shouldn’t be ashamed,” she said. “All societies should accept and give (the same) sort of statute to this profession as to any other.”

The ICRSE says regulating the sector would curb exploitation and boost prostitutes’ willingness to pay tax in return for rights and social protection.

“Many problems could be solved if sex workers were treated the same as any other labour issue,” Ana Lopes, a British-based sex worker originally from Portugal told media representatives.

The cause of the sex workers is being championed by Agnolleto, who endorsed the sex workers’ declaration. He says he will initiate a debate on the issue in the European Parliament.

“I believe this declaration is important not only for sexual workers, but it also could become very important for the European civil society,” he said.

But a conference hosted by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), also at the European Parliament Monday, sought to develop policy and best practices against prostitution and trafficking in Europe.

“We oppose any move that would create the idea that sex work is normal work that your or my daughter would be ambitious enough to do when she’s 17 or 18,” said Mary McPhail, organiser of the conference.

McPhail argued that 98 percent of people involved in prostitution had become so engaged without any choice, and insisted that prostitution is fundamentally exploitative.

The EWL says the sex industry across Europe cannot be considered normal activity, because in many countries it is controlled by organised crime gangs.

“We do not agree with the definition of prostitution as sex work or as a profession,” Colette De Troy from the European Women’s Lobby told IPS Tuesday. She said promoting sex work as “normal” will not help solve problems such as trafficking and illegal immigration.

“We are convinced that policies should tackle the demand, which fuels the traffic, and measures should be provided to allow women, children, men or transgenders to exit prostitution,” she added.

Prostitution is legal in some EU states and tolerated in most European countries. In the Netherlands and the Czech Republic prostitution is licensed and regulated by the state, but in many European states the sex industry flourishes in the black market where women are trafficked from poor countries to work as prostitutes. Their passports are often stolen to prevent their escape from sex slavery.

The increase in trafficking from Eastern Europe to the European Union over the last three years has made tackling it a priority on the agenda of the British presidency of the bloc. A new European Commission proposal on combating trafficking is expected Oct. 19. (FIN/2005)

blkfade.gif

Sex Workers Ask EU to Respect Their ‘Rights’
Eva Cahen
Correspondent

(CNSNews.com) – European sex workers want European Union governments to respect their human rights and apply labor laws to their profession.The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE), a newly organized lobbying group, has issued a declaration intended to create awareness of their situation among elected representatives, governments, and non-governmental organizations.“Sex work is work and a profession, sex workers are workers and must be recognized as such,” reads the declaration.According to the group, sex workers are often excluded from the application of human right and labor laws in many countries, merely because government policies “aim to make sex work invisible.” The group also complains that prostitution is not recognized as legal labor.“We are just asking the governments to apply these rights to sex workers, who deserve them as much as anyone else,” said Petra Timmerman, a spokesperson for the ICRSE.The group’s declaration lists examples of rights violation that sex workers suffer throughout Europe because of their profession.In Greece for example, where sex work is legal, prostitutes are not allowed to marry but if they do, they lose their license to practice, making it impossible for them to combine family life with their profession.

In France, grown children of sex workers can be charged with “living off” the sex worker’s income – pimping, in other words.

In Portugal and other countries, sex workers sometimes lose custody of their children solely on the basis of their occupation.

In some countries, prostitutes are often presumed to be guilty and denied the right to a fair trial.

Sex workers who are victims of violence sometimes are not given the support and protection of a nation’s laws just because they are prostitutes.

Migrant and trafficked sex workers at times also are denied judicial protection because they lack legal residency permits.

Timmerman said that in most countries, while prostitution is legal or tolerated, sex work is made illegal through the activities tied to it.

“For example, communication for the purpose of prostitution is illegal, and it is these kinds of laws that make it illegal to do your work without being a criminal in some way,” she said.

The declaration was created and endorsed by a group of some 200 sex workers from 30 countries gathered in Brussels on October 16 and 17 for the European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labor and Migration.

The conference was hosted by Monica Frassoni, an Italian Greens-European Free Alliance member of the European Parliament.

The declaration will be presented to the European parliament for debate and a draft resolution.

Recommendations formulated by the group say that giving sex workers the same human rights as everyone else could help protect them from violence, exploitation and human trafficking.

“The more people are aware that they have rights to make decisions about their lives, the less vulnerable they are to exploitation,” said Timmerman.

“If someone has the right to consider doing sex work in another country, it is likely they will not need to rely on illegal means to get there.”

The group argues that sex workers should have the same protected rights that have been granted to other groups such as migrant laborers and agricultural workers.

“If people are going to work, they should be working under the best possible conditions, with as many rights as possible, so they’re not at the mercy of people who want to exploit them,” said Timmerman.

Along with being able to enjoy full rights, sex workers would also become part of their society by paying taxes that would grant them the same rights to health care, schools and pensions as other citizens.

“It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve for sex workers,” said Timmerman. “If you work and you pay taxes, you can walk into a hospital for health care.”
 

blkfade.gif

Sex workers demand respect in EU – 10/18/05

By Jesse Russell

European sex workers, both male and female, held a press conference at the European Parliament yesterday demanding that their profession be recognized as work. The sex workers are seeking the same social rights extended to other industries. The workers believe that regualting prostitution and other forms of sex work across the EU would decrease exploitation, slavery and increase the willingness of most to pay taxes.

blkfade.gif

Dr. Camille Cabral, academic and sex worker.

Continental Drift

As the E.U. struggles to unite, prostitutes are forming unions and courting politicians. Is legalization next?
by Alastair McKay  January 3, 2006 – http://www.nerve.com/dispatches/mckay/euprostitutes/printcopy.asp

blkfade.gif

Reklamer

Handlinger

Information

Skriv et svar

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

Du kommenterer med din WordPress.com konto. Log Out / Skift )

Twitter picture

Du kommenterer med din Twitter konto. Log Out / Skift )

Facebook photo

Du kommenterer med din Facebook konto. Log Out / Skift )

Google+ photo

Du kommenterer med din Google+ konto. Log Out / Skift )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: