Press Kit

PRESS RELEASE

Glasgow, 2nd April, 2013.

STUC Closes Its Door On Sex Workers.

With one week’s notice, STUC have pulled out of their agreement to host a formal discussion bringing together experts on sex work from all over the world.

Despite initial agreement that Sex Worker Open University (SWOU) could host one of its public events at STUC, the Trade Union Congress has made clear their opposition to sex workers’ self-organising.

The event was organised as part of a broader festival that aims to bring awareness on issues affecting sex workers and give voice to those most affected by these issues. The volunteer collective behind the festival is made of sex workers and former sex workers from all sectors of the industry.

The cancellation of the venue has directly impacted the organisation of the festival that is taking place over 5 days in several venues in Glasgow, including the Centre for Contemporary Art and Kinning Park Community Center. Flyers were printed and distributed with the address of STUC.  Molly, a current indoor sex worker says: “It’s a slap in the face to have our small marginalised community collective treated this way by such a well-established and powerful organisation. The irony is that many of us are trade union members ourselves!”

Amy, a former street-based sex worker and member of SWOU says: “I am shocked and angry that STUC could pull out with such short notice. Working on the street, I am used to be harassed and pushed out. Being treated the same way by the trade union and women’s groups makes me sick to my stomach.”

Luca, male sex worker and co-founder of SWOU says:  “As society is confronted with massive changes due to economic crisis, austerity measures and cuts in public services, trade unions need to support – not shut down – efforts from communities to organise for their rights. We thank Kinning Park Community Complex for offering us an alternative space to hold this event and we invite all those interested in the rights, health and safety of sex workers to attend and learn. This invitation extends to other workers, trade unionists and community members, as well as STUC, as we will continue to fight for our rights as workers.”

–          End –

If you would like to speak with the organisers or for us to arrange other interviews

Please phone us on 01 414 332 502 or email contact.swou@gmail.com and glasgow.swou@gmail.com

High resolution images at http://www.flickr.com/groups/sexworkeropenuniversity/

 

More info:

Sex Worker Open University (SWOU) website http://www.swou.org

SWOU Glasgow page and full programme: www.glasgowswou.wordpress.org

Full programme: https://glasgowswou.wordpress.com/programme/

Quotes from Organisers and Participants: https://glasgowswou.wordpress.com/quotes-from-organisers-and-participants/

SWOU Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/sexworkeropenuniversity

Main SWOU 2013 Facebook event –http://www.facebook.com/events/

347770968675060/

SWOU Twitter – https://twitter.com/SexWorkerOU; Hashtag #sexworkerOU

SWOU Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/groups/sexworkeropenuniversity/

Email – contact.swou@gmail.com

 

– Ends –

 

 

Press Release

 

“First Sex Workers’ Rights Festival in Scotland!”

 

Hi,

News below about the first ever Glasgow’s Sex Worker Open University which will take place in several venues around Glasgow between the 5th and 10th of April 2013.

If you would like to speak with the organisers or for us to arrange other interviews please phone me on 07 821 540 004 or email contact.swou@gmail.com

High resolution images at http://www.flickr.com/groups/sexworkeropenuniversity/

Full programme: https://glasgowswou.wordpress.com/programme/

Quotes from Organisers and Participants: https://glasgowswou.wordpress.com/quotes-from-organisers-and-participants/

As well as the events open to the public detailed below, media are particularly invited to attend the International Panel at midday, Saturday 6th April at Kinning Park complex (43 Cornwall Street, Glasgow, G41 1BA) where you can meet the organisers and hear more about the purpose and details of specifics events. Do RSVP if you would like to attend. NB. Media are asked to respect the privacy of attendees some of whom may not wish to be interviewed or photographed.

Cheers,

SWOU Glasgow Collective

=====

Sex Worker Open University 2013 opens in Glasgow 5 – 10 April!

The third edition of the pioneering Sex Worker Open University will happen in several venues in Glasgow including Kinning Park Complex and Centre for Contemporary Art between 5-10 April, bringing together sex workers and allies from around the world to learn new skills, socialise and empower themselves, and resist the attempt to drive us underground by criminalising our clients.

A vast number of international organisations and experts in harm reduction have recognised that decriminalisation of sex work is the safest model for sex workers to be protected from violence and abuse.
‘There is very little evidence to suggest that any criminal laws related to sex work stop demand for sex or reduce the number of sex workers. Rather, all of them create an environment of fear and marginalisation for sex workers, who often have to work in remote and unsafe locations to avoid arrest of themselves or their clients. These laws can undermine sex workers’ ability to work together to identify potentially violent clients and their capacity to demand condom use of clients. The approach of criminalising the client has been shown to backfire on sex workers. In Sweden, sex workers who were unable to work indoors were left on the street with the most dangerous clients and little choice but to accept them. Where sex work is criminalised, sex workers are very vulnerable to abuse and extortion by police, in detention facilities and elsewhere.” (UNAIDS Programme, 2012)

Despite the important amount of research and evidence pointing towards decriminalisation, mis-informed politicians still draft law proposals that only further endanger sex workers, regardless of their reason for selling sexual services.
The event will be an opportunity to hear from those directly affected by this kind of law proposals: sex workers themselves.
We invite everyone interested in the human rights and safety of sex workers to attend our public events and for sex workers to join us in our fight for our rights!

SWOU Glasgow is organised in partner-ship with Scot-Pep, a charity set up to support sex workers and campaign for the respect of their human and labour rights and is funded by Red Umbrella Fund, the first and only fund providing financial support exclusively to sex workers-led organisations around the world.

Highlights include: a film night, an international panel presenting the case for decriminalisation, a yet-to-revealed protest,
skill sharing workshops and video making and a public debate on ”sex work stigma” !

Key events include a day dedicated to bringing together acclaimed international sex workers’ rights activists presenting on different legal system framing sex work, and the effects such system have on the access to health and justice for sex workers.

Full programme of events can be found at http://www.swou.org and on www.glasgowswou.wordpress.org.

A number of sessions are open to the public, whilst others are reserved for sex workers only.  Entry is by suggested donation (£5 per day or part day) – people on no/low incomes will be asked to pay what they can afford and no one will be turned away because of lack of funds.  There is no need to pre-register, unless stated, and all events are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Organisers of the Sex Worker Open University commented: “SWOU, which is organised by and for sex workers, is a unique project bringing together sex workers from around the world to meet each other, learn from each other, share skills, experiences, ideas and ultimately empower each other. For many, sex work is a decision, even when made in difficult economic and legal circumstances and we challenge the popular stereotype of sex workers as victims or criminals. We believe firmly that those who choose to work in the sex industry, for whatever reasons, deserve the same legal and human rights as all other workers and criminalisation only increases our vulnerability and oppression at work.”

More info:

Sex Worker Open University (SWOU) website http://www.swou.org
SWOU Glasgow page: www.glasgowswou.wordpress.org

Full programme: https://glasgowswou.wordpress.com/programme/

Quotes from Organisers and Participants: https://glasgowswou.wordpress.com/quotes-from-organisers-and-participants/
SWOU Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/sexworkeropenuniversity
Main SWOU 2013 Facebook event –http://www.facebook.com/events/347770968675060/
SWOU Twitter – https://twitter.com/SexWorkerOU; Hashtag #sexworkerOU
SWOU Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/groups/sexworkeropenuniversity/
Email – contact.swou@gmail.com

– Ends –

For media enquiries, interviews and further information, please email contact.swou@gmail.com or call 07 821 540 004

About the London Sex Worker Open University:
“ Our aim is to empower through workshops, debates, actions and art projects as well as fighting against criminalisation. We want to give a voice to sex workers, whose lives are too often stereotyped and voices too often silenced. We want to challenge media sensationalism, which, hand in hand with politicians, often represents sex workers as victims or criminals. A society that recognises, accepts, respects and values sex workers is a fairer and more mature society. The first Sex Worker Open University event, which took place in London in April 2009, was a great success bringing together more than 200 sex workers, sex workers’ rights activists, allies and visitors from the UK and abroad took part in workshops, discussions, actions and art exhibits over five days.”

3 Responses to Press Kit

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