June 2 is International Sex Workers’ Day

June 2 is International Sex Workers’ Day.

Unfortunately, as with all the minority groups, problems of sex workers have also intensified this year because of the coronavirus pandemic identifying numerous health, financial and other deep-rooted problems that have both socio-cultural and institutional grounds.

According to a number of laws in the Republic of Armenia, sex work, and also the contribution in any way or support to sex work is prohibited, which in itself distorts the image of a sex workers and portrays them as criminals and wretch members of the society.

Thus, sex workers in Armenia are discriminated in all spheres of life, they are deprived of state support, persecuted by law, and discriminated by government officials abusing their official positions in state institutions.

Generally, Armenian sex workers are demoralized and discouraged, the fact that they are sex workers, because of the stereotypical approaches, puts them in a deadlock, from which there is almost no way out.

Many of them are abandoned and neglected by their family members and relatives, they do not have resources to cope with force majeure situations.

Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO, being the first and only organization in Armenia that is a member of the SWAN and the European Committee of Sex Workers Rights in Europe, has adopted a strategic direction to fight for the rights of sex workers, according to which we urge today:

To the state officials, law enforcement authorities:

  •         stop discrimination and violence against sex workers, to show maximum solidarity and inclusive treatment to the members of this group,
  •         conduct fair, transparent and impartial examination of their cases,
  •         stop using misleading, offensive and discriminatory terminology towards sex workers in writings and communication
  •         review laws discriminating and persecuting sex workers.

To media representatives:

  •         refrain from spreading information that exacerbates the situation on social networks and other platforms, insults and humiliates sex workers,
  •         carry out qualified and impartial professional activities without forgetting the influence of the media on public life,
  •         in case of the lack of relevant knowledge and information while covering the problems of sex workers, cooperate with the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO.

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