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ICRSE and SWAN members mark International Sex Workers' Rights Day

Every year, sex workers celebrate 2nd June as International Sex Workers’ Rights’ Day. The day commemorate the occupation of the Church of St. Nizier in Lyon, France on June 2nd, 1975.

Following years of police brutality and corruption, and after the murders of two sex workers was left uninvestigated, sex workers in Lyon decided they had to organise to make their voices heard. On June 2nd, 1975, sex workers occupied Saint-Nizier church in rue de Brest and went on a strike that lasted 8 days. A banner was displayed reading "Our children don't want their mothers in prison". For many, June 2, 1975 is considered as the symbolic birth of the sex workers’ movement.

Here is a quick overview of how some of the ICRSE and SWAN members in Europe and Central Asia marked International Sex Workers’ Rights’ Day 2018!


In Austria, the migrant sex worker led organisation Red Edition with the support of Feministkilljoy and LEFO prepared a banner and stood together with red umbrellas to raise awareness about their rights.


Following their annual gathering in Nantes, sex workers and allies from STRASS, ACCEPTESS-T, Griselidis and Paloma organised a vibrant protest against the criminalisation of clients.


STAR launched a campaign focusing on the history of sex workers in the region including photograph exhibitions, art installations and online videos. Details of the events and more information can be found here.


Sex workers members of PROUD joined the Women’s March Netherlands in Amsterdam calling for more inclusion of sex workers’ within the women's rights movement. A video of the march was produced and is available here.


Sex workers from the Collectivo Prostitutas de Sevilla organised a day long conference with attendance of sex workers and their supporters. A video from the conference can be found here.

United KIngdom

Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement (SWARM) in the UK published a statement in support of sex workers fighting against FOSTA/SESTA, a law passed in April 2018 in the United States which affect sex workers’ safety.


Legalife-Ukraine has launched a social media campaign to highlight key demands of the sex workers’ movement in Ukraine. The campaingn will last for 10 days and can be followed under #international_sexworkersday on facebook.
For more pictures click here.

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