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Les filles de joie dans la rue (18/10/2005)

Une petite centaine de prostituées ont revendiqué leur droit à un statut légal hier à Bruxelles

BRUXELLES Les slogans sont durs, les mots clairement pas mâchés. "Ni coupables, fières d'être p... !" La petite centaine de prostituées venues des quatre coins d'Europe n'ont pas bloqué la circulation pendant des heures, leur message a néanmoins été très distinctement entendu.
"Nous voulons être reconnues comme exerçant un métier légal", témoigne Claudette, 68 ans. "J'ai commencé ce métier sur les trottoirs de Tanger à 14 ans. J'aime ce métier. Je fais ce que je veux de mon corps et de mon esprit tant que je ne fais de mal à personne."

En clair, ces "travailleuses du sexe" revendiquent les mêmes droits que les autres travailleurs en terme de sécurité sociale, de soins de santé et d'allocations sociales. Des revendications que reprend l'Espace P, l'association défendant les droits des prostituées. "La Belgique adopte une situation hypocrite vis-à-vis des prostituées. Une fois on les coffre, une autre on les taxe. Ce qui équivaut à reconnaître leur statut."
Si les filles de joie réunies à l'initiative du Comité international pour les droits des travailleurs du sexe en Europe (ICRSE) adoptaient un discours en faveur de la reconnaissance de leur métier, d'autres réunies hier matin au parlement européen à l'occasion de la conférence européenne sur le travail sexuel, les droits de l'homme, les droits des travailleurs et les migrations affichaient un discours opposé.
Ces dernières sont opposées à la légalisation de leur métier, qui induirait la légalisation des métiers du sexe (clients, souteneurs, maisons de passe...). Leur idée est de pénaliser plutôt le client que la fille. Système qui a fait ses preuves en Suède.

M. L.
La Dernière Heure 2005 www.dhnet.be

Mon Oct 17,12:16 PM ET

European sex workers called for their profession to be recognized as work Monday, saying they deserved the
same social rights as other employees.

Male and female sex workers from the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe
(ICRSE) held a news conference in the European Parliament, urging the 25-nation European Union to end
discrimination of the sex industry.

"What we do is work and we want it recognized as that," said British sex worker Ruth Morgan Thomas from
Scotland.

In many European states, the sex industry flourishes in the black market where women are trafficked from
poor countries to work as prostitutes in Europe. Their passports are often stolen to prevent their escape out
of sex slavery.

Prostitution is legal in some EU states and tolerated in most European countries, but laws on prostitution
and the legal rights of sex workers vary across the EU.

The sex workers said regulating the sector would curb exploitation and boost prostitutes' willingness to pay
tax in return for rights and social protection.

Camille Cabral, representing French sex workers and wearing pink stickers reading "Sluts Unite" and "Whore
Power," 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."

Reuters
http://today.reuters.com

La prostitution en question

Des travailleurs du sexe venus de toute l'Europe se sont réunis lundi à Bruxelles, pour une manifestation visant à promouvoir leurs droits. De leur côté, des anciennes prostituées ont défendu un tout autre point de vue...

La manifestation a été organisée par l'ICRSE, le Comité international pour les droits des travailleurs du sexe en Europe, à l'issue de la Conférence européenne sur le travail sexuel, les droits de l'homme, les droits des travailleurs et les migrations qui s'est tenue au Parlement européen du 15 au 17 octobre. Une communication de la Commission européenne sur un plan d'action contre la traite des êtres humains est attendue le 19 octobre.

L'ICRSE estime que les politiques répressives en matière de migration, d'ordre public et de moralité ont conduit à la vulnérabilité croissante des "travailleurs du sexe", ont indiqué les responsables de l'organisation lundi au cours d'une conférence de presse au Parlement européen à Bruxelles. Elle réclame que les travailleurs du sexe puissent se faire représenter par leurs propres organisations et puissent prendre part aux
débats, élaboration des lois, politiques et mesures qui affectent leurs vies. Elle exige également que les travailleurs du sexe obtiennent les mêmes droits que les autres travailleurs en ce qui concerne l'accès à la sécurité sociale, aux soins de santé et aux allocations sociales.
Ce serait légaliser les souteneurs...

Des anciennes prostituées ont défendu, lundi matin, un tout autre point de vue au cours d'une conférence de presse séparée. Elles se sont opposées à la légalisation de la prostitution car elles estiment que cela induit la légalisation des souteneurs, des bordels et des clients et donc la légalisation de l'industrie du sexe. Au cours de cette conférence de presse, organisée par le Lobby européen des femmes et la Coalition contre la
traite des femmes, elles ont souligné que l'industrie légale du sexe servait d'aimant pour l'industrie illégale du sexe et le crime organisé et qu'elle s'était soldée par un échec aux Pays-Bas et en Allemagne car elle n'a pas réduit la traite des êtres humains.

Le Lobby européen des femmes, qui regroupe 4.000 organisations de l'UE qui oeuvrent pour l'égalité des femmes, estime qu'il faudrait s'inspirer de la législation suédoise qui pénalise le client et non plus la prostituée et qui est parvenue à réduire la traite des femmes et la prostitution dans ce pays. Selon l'organisation, légaliser la prostitution, c'est lui permettre de se développer et d'entraîner davantage de femmes dans la prostitution.

La Coalition contre la traite des femmes, une ONG qui combat depuis 17 ans la traite des êtres humains et la prostitution dans le monde, s'est également prononcée contre la légalisation de la prostitution qui rend légale l'inégalité entre hommes et femmes.Elle considère que défendre les droits des prostituées, c'est leur donner une chance pour un véritable futur - en les assistant pour qu'elles puissent sortir de la prostitution
plutôt que de les y maintenir.

(D'après Belga)
Le Soir en ligne Bruxelles - lundi 17 octobre 2005
http://www.lesoir.be

Sex workers meet in Brussels to demand labor rights ( 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 the
Czech 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.
News From Russia http://newsfromrussia.com

Monday, October 17, 2005

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- 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.

Legislation on prostitution currently varies from country to country within the EU. In the Netherlands and the
Czech Republic, for example, prostitution is licensed and regulated by the state.

"We organized this conference in response to the increasingly repressive legislative policies and practices
across Europe against sex workers and sex industry," said chief organizer Ruth Morgan Thomas.
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.
"I believe this declaration is important not only for sexual workers, but it also could become very important for
the European civil society. If they're recognized as workers, they can pay taxes and have the same duties
and same rights as everyone else," Agnoletto said.

CNN online http://www.cnn.com

Wednesday, 19 October 2005
RIGHTS: SEX WORKERS ASK TO BE SEEN AS WORKERS

by Stefania BianchiBRUSSELS (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.

Terra Viva Europe http://www.ipsterraviva.net/Europe/

Sex Workers Ask EU to Respect Their 'Rights'

By Eva Cahen
Oct 28, 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 becaus! e 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."

CNSNews.com http://www.cnsnews.com

SexarbeiterInnen-Konferenz darf nicht ohne Echo verhallen:
Menschenrechte müssen auf nationaler Ebene sichergestellt werden!

Utl.: LEFÖ fordert Gesetzesänderung in Österreich
Wien/Brüssel 5/10/2005

„Die Stimmen von über 200 SexarbeiterInnen und ihren UnterstützerInnen dürfen nicht ungehört bleiben“, fordert Cristina Boidi, Koordinatorin des Vereins LEFÖ, nach der 3-tägigen Konferenz von Sexarbeiterinnen vergangene Woche in Brüssel.

Vom 15.-17. Oktober 2005 fand in der EU-Metropole die europäische Konferenz zu Sexarbeit, Menschenrechten, Arbeit und Migration mit VertreterInnen aus über 25 Ländern statt. „Die rechtliche Kriminalisierung und Verunglimpfung von SexarbeiterInnen verstößt gegen unsere Menschenrechte und muss ein Ende finden“, unterstreicht Stephanie Klee, Vertreterin der deutschen Hurenbewegung, eine der Forderungen von Sexarbeiterinnen europaweit. Klee, die auch maßgeblich an der Gesetzesänderung 2002 zur Legalisierung von Sexarbeit in Deutschland beteiligt war, weiter: „Nur die rechtliche Gleichstellung von SexarbeiterInnen mit anderen Erwerbstätigen kann auf Dauer die herrschenden Ungerechtigkeiten beseitigen.“

In dem Manifest, das von SexarbeiterInnen in Brüssel beschlossen wurde, werden außerdem ein differenzierter Zugang zu Sexarbeit gefordert, das Recht auf selbst bestimmtes Leben und Arbeiten, Schutz vor Gewalt und Ausbeutung und endlich volle Menschen-, Arbeits- und BürgerInnenrechte.

Cristina Boidi betont gleichzeitig die Wichtigkeit, aufeinander abgestimmter Gesetzesänderungen durchzuführen und den Bereich der Prostitution nicht isoliert zu betrachten. „Mit Inkrafttreten des neuen Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetzes (NAG) werden Sexarbeiterinnen illegalisiert, die seit Jahren rechtmäßig in Österreich aufhältig sind. Sie verlieren ihr Recht auf Arbeit und ihr Recht auf Aufenthalt.“ In dem NAG 2005 ist ein so genanntes „Prostituiertenvisum“, das auf dem jetzigen Fremdenrecht basiert, nicht mehr vorgesehen.

„Es besteht akuter Handlungsbedarf im Angesicht der steigenden sensationalistischen und rassistischen Hetze“, warnt Boidi. „Alle politischen Kräfte in Österreich sind jetzt gefordert, die Doppelmoral zu beenden und Sexarbeiterinnen nicht länger von ihren Rechten auszuschließen!“ Die progressiven Gesetzgebungen in Deutschland und den Niederlanden dürfen dabei nicht nur Inspiration sein, sondern müssen als Ausgangspunkt für eine längst fällige nationale und EU-weite Implementierung evaluiert werden.

Der Verein LEFÖ, der dieses Jahr das 20jährige Bestehen feiert, wurde kürzlich mit dem von SOS Mitmensch gestifteten Ute-Bock-Preis für Zivilcourage ausgezeichnet und arbeitet seit über 10 Jahren für die Rechte von Sexarbeiterinnen.

Rückfragen: Frau Cristina Boidi oder Frau Faika Anna El-Nagashi unter 01/581 18 81

 

Members of the press, for more information please contact: info [at] sexworkeurope [dot] org


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