"Rights and Health"
TAMPEP is pleased to present this collection of resources under the theme of "Rights and Health". We selected examples of campaigns and resources on health and safety that have been developed by sex workers and sex worker led groups.
About the resources:
This collection contains three types of resources produced by TAMPEP in two language versions: English and Russian. The first type consists of information materials developed especially for migrant sex workers in Europe on different topics pertaining to health and personal security. The second type is a glossary on sex work, trafficking and HIV/STIs. It also provides definitions for these terms and notions. The third type consists of examples of health and human rights campaigns from Austria, Germany and Italy, which respectively aim to change stigmatising behaviours and draw attention to sex workers rights (Austria and Italy) and promote respect for sex workers as well as provide information on HIV and STIs (Germany).
This resource complements the "Knowing Your Rights and Challenging Violence" resources being produced by ICRSE as part of this OSI funded project. The complete collection of the TAMPEP resources can be found at www.tampep.eu . Together these resources are intended to inspire and support your work in promoting the health and rights of sex workers everywhere.
We hope that you find the examples useful and inspiring.
The contents of the resources are:
Information materials on Health and Safety
- Short guidelines for correct use and cultural adaptation of existing information materials to the context of former communistic countries.
- A selection of TAMPEP resources on health and safety. These include information on condoms and lubricants, viral hepatitis, HIV and STIs, contraception, personal security and safer drug use.
Glossary on sex work
- A glossary of terms and notions used in sex work and HIV/STI prevention.
Health and human rights campaigns
Descriptions, materials and photographs of three human rights campaigns:
- The campaign Sex Workers Lust For...Their Rights! developed by LEFÖ (Information Education and Support for Migrant Women) in Austria as an example of a long-term broad campaign aiming to change societal attitudes towards prostitution and sex workers. The campaign materials were originally in German.
- The campaign Fair Play, developed by a coalition of organisations in Germany at the time of the World Cup 2006 with the goal to provide accurate information to (potential) clients of sex workers. The campaign materials were originally in German.
- A manifesto of human rights for sex workers titled "Beyond Tolerance and Compassion for Recognition of Rights". This poster campaign was developed by Comitato per i Diritti Civili delle Prostitute (Committee for the Civil Rights of Sex Workers) in Italy to raise awareness to sex workers' rights violations. The original text of the manifesto was in Italian.
These three campaigns were described and translated into English and Russian. The resources collection also includes the campaign materials and photographs of the events.
TAMPEP’s main objective is to develop and implement effective and realistic HIV/STI intervention programmes for migrant and mobile sex workers. TAMPEP works through direct interventions using outreach work; the involvement of cultural mediators and peer educators; and the development of multilingual information and education material for sex workers as main strategies.
In order to be able to develop effective and comprehensive interventions for migrant sex workers it is necessary to take into account the fact that persons from totally different backgrounds (cultural, ethnic, religious, health, sexual), who work in various countries and in different forms of prostitution, need totally different approaches, strategies and information materials.
Passing and receiving information is ruled by different cultural codes existing in various social and cultural groups. At the same time these codes are influenced by different contexts in prostitution. These codes are the means through which a given group of individuals expresses themselves, behaves and reacts.
Apart from considering and respecting these different codes, the information materials targeted to a migrant population have to be made in a way the group is most used to while receiving information.
When producing materials we have to consider:
- the contents and the form of the materials (for example: emphasis on illustrations (comics) for Latin Americans)
- educational level of the group (for example: audio-cassettes for illiterate persons)
- the conditions under which they work (street sex workers need small and handy products)
- the (unstable) situation in prostitution (materials should be easily developed, adapted and updated in order to respond to the changes in the field)
- the means, tools and resources that are available.
The production and the use of specific information materials is just one of the means used to disseminate information on HIV/STI prevention and health promotion. However, the process of creating and developing information materials should be considered as a special tool for primary prevention work and NOT an end in itself. Moreover, the materials should be used as an instrument for counselling and dialogue with the members of the group and not as a substitution of the outreach work. Also, there is evidence that the mere distribution of leaflets without a dialogue with the group is not enough: if we consider the material as an instrument to raise issues, to clarify questions and to explain difficult matters, it is fundamental to be able to talk to the target group.
The materials should be created, developed and evaluated together with the sex workers during workshops, outreach and other kinds of regular meetings. Also, it is crucial that the cultural mediators and peer educators working with them are actively involved in the translation of the language codes and in the interpretation of cultural values.
Another important issue concerns dealing with communication and information itself. We have to be aware of the power we have in our hands. Therefore, we should always be very careful and extremely accurate in what type of information we transmit and how. We must do this for the sake of the quality of the materials, but, more so, for the sake and the respect for those who are going to use them.
This glossary was prepared by TAMPEP to provide some clarity about appropriate, non-stigmatising terminology and a definition of commonly used terms related to sex work. Also terms related to HIV/STIs and human trafficking are included in the glossary.
This resource was selected because it provides guidance to policy makers, service providers, sex workers and sex work projects on how to use more accurate and non-stigmatising language while writing on sex work issues. It also provides an explanation of the terms and notions most commonly used in the sex sector.
Agreeing on some simple definitions helps to establish a common language and avoid confusion. This makes it possible to have clearer comparisons between individual experiences and practices and to analyse, without preconceived biases or prejudices, the differences existing between such experiences and practices.
Use this resource as a basis for drawing up a list of terms that will be useful within your local context and communications with sex workers, service providers, the media and policy makers. Make this list visible in your centre or office. Use this resource as material to educate journalists about the words and definitions sex worker activists use to talk about themselves and their work.
For more than 20 years LEFÖ (Information Education and Support for Migrant Women) has worked for the rights of migrants in Austria and since 15 years it has focused on migrant sex workers. As the first organisation in Austria, LEFÖ has been advocating for the rights of sex workers and has supported migrant sex workers through counselling, street work and cultural mediation.
The ‘Sex Workers Lust For… Their Rights’ campaign is a nationwide campaign in Austria, which was first launched in 2007. From March 8 (International Women’s Day) to June 2 (International Sex Workers Day), numerous events took place all over Austria, organised by LEFÖ and its partner Maiz. The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness among the public, media and politicians on sex workers’ rights, as humans, workers and migrants. In 2008, the campaign was repeated, but this time with an extension until 29 June 2008 to cover the European Soccer Championship.
This campaign was selected because it is an example of a long-term, broad campaign aimed at changing attitudes and policies.
How the resource was developed:
The campaign was developed in collaboration with LEFÖ’s long-time partner Maiz, and several other organisations and individuals, including media persons, migration experts, sex workers and representatives of the arts sector.
How the resource was used:
The campaign started with a press conference on the day before the official launch. This was followed by a demonstration in the centre of Vienna; a panel discussion combined with the screening of a movie; a theatre performance; intensified outreach work among sex workers; and a reading of texts produced by sex workers. On the last day of the campaign, a closing event was organised at the Urban-Loritz-Platz in Vienna, which included a concert and a performance. The activities were supplemented by a poster campaign and active media work.
According to the organisers the campaign was very successful. The message that sex workers’ rights are an inalienable part of human and women’s rights was reinforced continuously. The public showed genuine interest in the messages and gave positive feedback. There was broad media coverage, especially through the poster campaign. Finally, all political parties showed interest in further and intensified discussions at the political level.
You can get more information on LEFÖ
For more information on the 2008 campaign, please visit Lustaufrechte.at (German)
The FairPlay campaign was created by a coalition of NGOs and government agencies especially for the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany. It is well known that sports events like soccer cups create a huge demand for sexual services. This campaign targeted the male clients of sex workers through the combination of information, fun and condom gifts. The campaign was carried out in 10 of the 12 cities where the World Cup games were played. People dressed in condom costumes reached out to potential clients, and distributed condoms and postcards carrying advice (‘10 Golden Rules’) in different languages.
This campaign was selected because it is an example of an easy to develop campaign aimed at potential male clients during mass events.
How the resource was developed:
In each participating city a local group of people was responsible for the training of volunteers, the making of the costumes and the decisions on when and where the activities would take place.
How the resource was used:
In Hamburg, one of the participating cities, the action was only carried out on the days on which there were games being played. At a big square in the Red Light District, condoms and cards were distributed by teams of 5 to 10 persons, of which 3 to 4 wore condom costumes.
The campaign was a great success. The atmosphere was good, men were always willing to talk and to make jokes, and even women and policemen requested and received condoms. Many people wanted to be photographed or filmed with the ‘walking condoms’. According to the organisers, this activity can also be carried out outside of mass events. However, inclusion of the fun component, i.e. the walking condoms, is essential.
You can get more information on"Fair Play"
The Committee for the Civil Rights of Prostitutes (CDCP) in Italy organised in 2000 a campaign about the civil rights of sex workers. The manifesto that was based on a slogan: “Beyond Tolerance and Compassion for the Recognition of Rights” was written by sex workers themselves and was thus voicing their concerns about the ways in which their rights are violated and aiming to challenge the stigma against prostitution and sex workers. The manifesto was printed on large posters, which were placed in public places and on the streets.
The text of the Manifesto that was concise, explicit and to the point was published in daily newspapers and spread online via e-mail. It was accompanied by a request towards well known intellectuals and artists to sign up to the petition. As a result of this request, thousands of people in Italy and in Europe signed it. Afterwards the results were published in the newspapers in order to demonstrate the obtained support and were sent to the relevant ministers and to numerous parliamentarians. Given that sex workers have always been an object of repression from the side of law enforcement and authorities this campaign and petition served as an important political action.
This campaign was selected because it was one of the first campaigns in Europe in which sex workers themselves designed its contents.
For more information on the Comitato per I Diritti Civili delle Prostitute ( CDCP) and campaigns, please visit the website lucciole.org (in Italian)