Sex Work and Human Rights

Posts tagged “ICRSE

Jasmine and Dora 4-Ever

End Violence Against Sex Workers

This video chronicles the efforts of sex worker communities and their allies to memorialise Dora Özer and Petite Jasmine. Dora was a 24-year-old trans sex worker in Turkey, Jasmine was a 27-year-old sex worker in Sweden. Both were murdered in a matter of days in July 2013.

This video is launched at a time when the European Parliament debates about and votes on whether to recommend EU member states to criminalise the clients of sex workers and the buying of sexual services. This system is known as the Swedish Model, which numerous studies, e.g. by member organisations of the United Nations or the World Health Organisation, have found to have serious consequences for the health and safety of sex workers.

“Laws that criminalize sex work and the sex industry should be reviewed, taking into account the adverse impact of these laws on public health and the human rights of sex workers. To enable sex workers to fully enjoy legal rights to health and safety at work requires decriminalization. Decriminalization of sex work requires the repeal of: a. laws explicitly criminalizing sex work or clients of sex workers…” – UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA. “Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific” (UNDP, 2012)

The “criminalization of sex work contributes to an environment, in which violence against sex workers is tolerated, leaving them less likely to be protected from it”. – WHO “Violence against sex workers and HIV prevention” Information Bulletin Series, Number 3 (2005)

In the aftermath of the murders of Dora and Jasmine, sex workers and allies organised protests in front of Swedish and Turkish embassies in 36 cities on 4 continents. The video includes impressions from these protests as well as an interview with Petite Jasmine by Carol Leigh and Pye Jakobsson during the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington.

“Often when I talk about what I think is important, that people who sell sex should be accepted and have a place in society like everybody else, there are many that say that it would never be accepted by society. But it wasn’t long ago that people said the same thing about unwed mothers, gays, transsexuals – pretty much everyone that was outside this frame of normality. I think, if we all tried real hard not to discriminate, like we have done with other minorities, things will develop pretty fast, like it has with other groups. That’s what I believe in.” – Eva Marree Smith Kullander (Petite Jasmine)

For further information, please click here to visit the official website for the “International Day of Protest to End Violence Against Sex Workers – In memoriam of Jasmine and Dora”. The protests were coordinated by the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE).

To view a photo album about the global protests for Jasmine and Dora, please click here.

This video was posted with kind permission from Carol Leigh. For further details, please click here to view the video and a statement by Carol Leigh on Vimeo.

International Day of Protest against the violent Abuse and Murder of Sex Workers | Call for Action by ICRSE

ICRSE Protest July 19thThe International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers (ICRSE) in Europe is calling all its member organisations, individuals, sex workers and allies to stand together and protest against the recent murders of Jasmine and Dora, the violent attack against Ela, and all violence against sex workers in Europe and worldwide.


This week, Turkey and Sweden were the stage of violent murders of sex workers – but the violence is constant. Three sex workers were murdered in Italy since the beginning of this year. In France, Kassandra and Karima were murdered and committed suicide respectively. In Turkey, Dora, a trans sex worker, was killed this week, and Ela, another trans sex worker, got shot and her arm is unlikely to function again. Dora was the 31st transgender victim of violent and deadly attacks in Turkey since 2008.

We are calling all our friends and families, to protest against the Swedish model that took away the children of Jasmine and gave custody to her violent ex-husband who finally murdered her. Social workers and the Swedish state refused to listen to Jasmine. Why listen to a sex worker who doesn’t know what is good for her? It was that criminal system that cost Jasmine her life. We also protest against the systemic transphobic murders and violence in Turkey and worldwide.

In every country in Europe and around the world, sex workers are being murdered because our lives are seen are less worthy than others. We are not seen as equal citizens and this state-sanctioned discrimination justifies the stigma and violence we have to endure. It’s time to say

NO to all violence against sex workers!
NO to silencing our voices!
NO to taking away our children!
NO to attacks, rape and murders!

Protests will happen in many countries around the world on Friday the 19th of July at 3 pm. We encourage ICRSE members and all organisations and individuals to organise demonstrations, protests, and actions in front of Turkish, Swedish, and Italian embassies, or in front of other symbolic places.

We will update our event page with infos about the protests, an ICRSE press release, pictures you might need etc. If you need help in any way, please ask on the page and maybe someone can offer you support.

In solidarity,
Luca Stevenson
ICRSE Coordinator