Marija Tosheva Advocacy Officer Sex Workers Rights

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Transcript Marija Tosheva Advocacy Officer Sex Workers Rights

Marija Tosheva
Advocacy Officer
Sex Workers Rights Advocacy Network in CEECA (SWAN)
SWAN is a network which unites sex workers and
advocates from Central and Eastern Europe and
Central Asia with main goal - to strengthen
advocacy for a safer legal environment that ensures
human rights of all sex workers in the region;
23 members/organizations from 18 countries, 9 of
members are community led groups;
Main focus in the past – community mobilization
and addressing the violence against sex workers in
the region;
Non-sustainable VCT services (dependence from GFATM
and international donors);
In some countries – no sex work specific testing
services (low coverage of testing, and no sex work
specific data available);
Confidentiality of results and quality of services still an
Lack of meaningful peer involvement and capacity
building of peer counselors;
Police raids and forced testing (criminalization of
transmition & criminalization of sex work);
Mobility and migration;
Lack of documents & health insurance;
Late start of ARV due to limited testing;
Stigma and discrimination:
- among health professionals (based on work
- within the sex workers community (based on HIV
Hiding the status to avoid stigma and isolation
leads to:
- Lack of reliable data on sex work and HIV treatment and
care (prevalence, barriers, needs);
- Poor quality of response/services due to lack of
understanding of the context and status (week referral
system with other SRH services; mental health issues related
to work and HIV status, isolation from own community,
economic burden & alternative opportunities not addressed);
Sex work and drug use/ Male and trans sex
Lack of HIV+ sex workers involved in peer support,
or designing and implementing treatment and care
programs for sex workers;
Assessment of barriers to access testing and
treatment for sex workers on all levels (community,
state, legislation, operational);
Sensitization of health workers/service providers
on the issues and specifics of sex workers
(strengthening the referrals systems, addressing
mental health issues etc);
Strengthening peer involvement in counseling,
testing and support trough capacity building,
linkages and introducing treatment literacy;
Creating supportive system for migrant/mobile
Addressing inter community stigma and wide
spread general stigma and discrimination;
Addressing structural barriers (criminal/penal laws,
police actions, forced testing);
Thank you for your attention !
[email protected]