NEW NETWORK OF SEX WORKERS IN EECA
On March 23 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia, a new network of sex workers in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has been registered under the name EECA Sex Workers’ Alliance. Alliance is created to promote the development of policies on sex workers based on humanity, tolerance, protection of health, dignity and human rights.
Irina Maslova, Development Director, notes: “In order to resolve the problems that sex workers in our region face, we decided to unite. We have lived the experience of developing the movement of sex workers in Russia, and other people start to contact us for help. We have been able to raise the issues of criminalization of sex work and violence in our country, and we will be able to do this in the region. We see how well the peer-to-peer approach and community participation works in prevention programs.”
The network was registered on the basis of the decision of the Strategic meeting of representatives of the Russian sex workers community held in Moscow in April 2016. The meeting was attended by sex workers from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Togliatti, Perm, Kazan, Naberezhnye Chelny, Krasnoyarsk, Orsk, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.
“Legislation in our countries is similar, and law enforcement practice is equally oppressive towards sex workers – this is our post-Soviet reality,” Irina Maslova emphasizes. “We are already helping each other and we want this support to be more effective. We know how complex and difficult it is for us to establish a dialogue with the state and donor organizations, how difficult it is to ensure our meaningful participation in resolving issues to our lives and health, and we understand that at this stage we can go through it together. Advocacy is the voice of those who have been robbed of his voice. And our decision is to regain this right. We need an alliance to solve common problems in our region. ”
About the Alliance and the Secretariat:
EECA Alliance of Sex Workers will work in all countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia to develop the movement of sex workers, establish a tolerant attitude to sex workers in society, and implement programs to prevent violence and socially significant diseases.
Irina Maslova is a leader of sex workers’ movement who advocates for decriminalization of sex work in Russia since 2003. Irina has an extensive experience of advocacy for sex workers’ rights on global, regional and national level paving the way for sex workers in decision making with regards to their lives, and, specifically, health. She is a pioneer advocate for partnering with sex workers for public health programming and a strong rights defender struggling with violence and injustice towards sex workers.
Evgenia Maron is a community mobilizer with 15-year experience in prevention service delivery for communicable diseases and advocacy for human rights in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Evgenia has a track of working on issues of sex work, gender, HIV/AIDS, TB, sexual and reproductive health in the region and beyond.
Irina Maslova, Development Director, EECA Sex Workers’ Alliance
Evgenia Maron, Executive Director, EECA Sex Workers’ Alliance
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