The International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers | IDEVASW

On the 17th of December each year, sex workers and our allies come together to commemorate the lives of sex workers lost at the intersection of unjust laws, repressive practices and deeply engrained social stigmatisation of sex workers.

The day is also marked with a renewed commitment by those of us fighting for the rights of all sex workers to live and work free from violence and to be protected by the laws. This year it is particularly important for us to reflect on the effects of legal frameworks in promoting an environment of increased hostility towards sex workers in which state-sanctioned and perpetuated violence with impunity can flourish.

The increased engagement across European state governments with the failed Swedish approach to sex work, which adds further criminalisation by making it illegal to purchase sex, has led to a year of sex worker led groups and networks having to step up efforts to protect our rights, particularly in the vein of protecting those of our community who are most marginalised, including migrant sex workers.

This newsletter marks the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2019 by highlighting the struggles, resistance and resilience of sex worker groups across our network, while commemorating lives lost in the ongoing struggle to achieve sex workers rights.



The more attempts to divide us, the closer we come together.

Attempts to silence us, only make our voices louder.

As they deny us our rights, we take to the streets, to parliaments, to government buildings.

Our voices will not be diminished. Our spirits will not be dimmed.

TAMPEP, 2019 in Marking the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers


Looking to 2020, TAMPEP will develop our Strategic Plan in consultation with our members and allies to ensure our efforts at regional level are supporting our member groups to include and platform the needs and rights of migrant sex workers and work to support the wider regional sex worker led fight for all sex workers’ rights. We will renew our call for sex worker-led member groups and hold our first election process inviting sex workers, particularly those who are migrant, to lead TAMPEP’s work as part of our Steering Committee. We will also open a call for in country groups working specifically on migrant sex worker-related issues to join TAMPEP in a funded partnership process to conduct an in-country documentation process. Our efforts as a migrant sex worker-led network will be enhanced and strengthened through these partnerships so as a movement, our focus on the rights of migrant sex workers will continue to grow stronger.

To all the sex workers and organisations commemorating the lives lost in our global community, we stand with you in remembrance and renewed calls for sex workers’ rights to live and work safely and free from violence.


“Only Rights Can STOP The Wrongs!”