International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

Red umbrella, overlaid with purple text reading "December 17th International Day to END Violence Against Sex Workers"Yesterday, December 17, was the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, a day that was created to draw attention to violent hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the world. Unfortunately in my hectic day, I missed blogging about it. No excuses, and my sincere apologies.

I would, however, like to take the belated opportunity now to highlight this epidemic of violence, and the work that activists are doing to combat it. Here is a remembrance list of known sex workers murdered in the past year (pdf). There are almost certainly unknown victims whose deaths have not been recorded. And while this is a list of those who have been killed, the number of those who have lived through physical and sexual assaults is infinitely longer.

For more about violence against sex workers, and the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, I recommend checking out this blog post about a MADRE event on Human Rights Day (thanks Robin), this article by Annie Sprinkle in On The Issues magazine, Audacia Ray’s post, the GRITtv video commentary on violence against sex workers (sorry, no known transcript yet), and lastly the new report from the Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network (SWAN), Arrest the Violence: Human Rights Violations Against Sex Workers in 11 Countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

This is just a tiny fraction of what actions have been taken, what information has been released, and what blog posts and articles that have been written. So if you’ve written a post yourself, or have something else you want to pass along, please feel free to leave links in the comments.

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8 comments for “International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

  1. RD
    December 18, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    You can see some photos from the NYC December 17th vigil last night here.

  2. RD
    December 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Here is a statement about a December 17th event in Hong Kong by Zi Teng.

  3. RD
    December 18, 2009 at 6:09 pm
  4. RD
    December 18, 2009 at 6:16 pm
  5. RD
    December 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm
  6. RD
    December 18, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    From Healthy Options Project Skopje:

    Today is 17th of December, International Day to end Violence against sex

    In Macedonia, as throughout the world, sex workers are pushed to the margins
    of society by a combination of prejudice, discrimination, and violence.
    Insults and hate plague their lives, pervade media reports, and direct the
    approach of social institutions. But the lives and livelihoods of sex
    workers comprise of much more and the conviction remains that the selling of
    sexual services does not justify denial of fundamental rights, to which all
    human beings are entitled.

    “You Must Know About Me” is a first-hand account of sex workers’ experiences
    and aspirations off and on the streets. While dealing with the harassment
    and violence from clients, pimps, and the police, sex workers strive to
    counter the hostile public attitude by speaking out and fighting for basic

    The video calls for zero tolerance of violence against sex workers, adequate
    investigation and prosecution of perpetrators, and coordinated response of
    social institutions to the actual needs of sex workers.

    Watch and take action:

    Video is available in English, Russian, and Macedonian.

  7. RD
    December 18, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    At the NYC event, speakers included representatives from the Sex Workers Project, NYC Anti-Violence Project, Streetwise and Safe, Sex Work Awareness, Washington Heights Corner Project, and other community groups. There was a candlelit vigil to remember and honor the sex workers killed in 2009. There was also a community speakout against violence in our community in which anyone could speak (for example about violence they had experienced, friends they had lost, etc.).

  8. Tlönista
    December 18, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    My squidkitten, who works in both the States and the UK, did a bit of a news round-up.

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