The European TAMPEP network supports the demands of sex workers across Europe for equal treatment with other professions in the exercise of their services. A democratic society stands for equal treatment regarding professional rules in combating the pandemic. It is inexplicable that one profession is excluded while others, very similar, are allowed to work. There are no arguments as to why this profession would contribute more to infections. There is certainly no scientific evidence to support this. That is not acceptable and should not happen.
- Sex workers are forbidden to work for almost one year now. Their workplaces are closed.
- Local authorities tend to persecute sex workers instead of supporting them during these challenging times. This has to stop. Authorities have to rethink their strategy in this regard.
- In the media, sex workers are mostly portrayed as super-spreaders when there is no evidence to support this allegation. These coverages harm sex workers additionally.
The closure or inaccessibility of workspaces and the lack of access to social safety nets lead to drastic income reductions for these workers, increasing their exposure to risk and making those already suffering the highest violence rates even more vulnerable.
By banning legal sex work, lack of income support, and without any prospect of improvement, there is a great risk that sex work will be further marginalized, leading to more violence against sex workers and less control of work safety during the pandemic. This is not in the interest of the sex workers nor of public health.
The decision to exclude sex workers from the flexibilization regarding the rules on Corona for professions that require personal contact, combined with insufficient income support, offers no perspective for many sex workers and may lead to risky behavior. Because sex work is prohibited at the moment, sex workers will ‘disappear’ from sight for prevention and care, negatively affecting their safety and health.
TAMPEP joins forces with the sex workers’ movement in the struggle for equal labor and human rights for sex workers.
We call the governments to re-address this social and economic injustice toward this professional category and involve sex workers as experts in implementing all measures and decisions to fight Corona and minimize the risk of infection in sex work.
Download the statement in PDF here