History of worldwide sex worker rights from 2001

Timeline created by joleeky
  • Red umbrella first used in Venice, Italy as a symbol for sex worker solidarity

    Red umbrella first used in Venice, Italy as a symbol for sex worker solidarity
    Italian sex workers marched through the streets with red umbrellas. The red umbrella march drew attention to the poor work conditions and human rights violations sex workers faced.
  • The Sex Workers Project founded

    The Sex Workers Project founded
    It was the only organisation in US that served the need of sex workers and victims of trafficking. Its based is in New York City.
  • Brazil recongised sex work as a legitimate occupation

    Brazil recongised sex work as a legitimate occupation
    Sex workers were granted access to social benefits as autonomous workers and they were eligible to apply for the government's pension plan and retirement benefits.
  • Sex work decriminalised in New Zealand

    Sex work decriminalised in New Zealand
    It was the world's first country to decriminalise sex work. The Act was only narrowly passed in the parliament.
  • First 'International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers'

    First 'International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers'
    Dec 17 was the day that serial sex workers killer Gary Ridgeway was convicted. On that day, sex worker groups around the world stage protests to raise awareness about violence against sex workers and the stigma around them.
  • $pread Magazine launched

    $pread Magazine launched
    The editors said that they were tired of seeing sex workers misrepresented. They created this for these workers to express themselves.
  • "Prostitutes Free Zone" (PFZ) in District of Columbia

    "Prostitutes Free Zone" (PFZ) in District of Columbia
    PFZ zone was declared effective for a 20-day period, where prostitutes and other sex workers were asked to vacate this area. Groups claimed that this was pushing these workers to more dangerous area of the city. Later the year a DC council member proposed to make this zone permanent but it did not pass.
  • Statue honouring sex workers unveiled in Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Statue honouring sex workers unveiled in Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Titled 'Belle', a statue was put at the centre of Amsterdam's Red Light District to honour sex workers.
  • Angry Indian sex workers produce video response to offensive “Prostitutes of God” documentary

    Angry Indian sex workers produce video response to offensive “Prostitutes of God” documentary
    VBS media (Vice) produced documentary "Prostitutes of God" which angered many sex workers across India. A sex worker right group later responded to the documentary with “VAMP responds to betrayal by Prostitutes of God film”.
  • Research on male sex workers began

    Research on male sex workers began
    15 male sex workers across Africa were involved in a research project. The goal was to understand the social contexts, vulnerabilities and sexual risks of the workers.
  • Walking in sex workers’ heels workshop

    Walking in sex workers’ heels workshop
    It was South Africa’s National Women’s Day. Sex worker rights advocacy groups set up a two-day workshop for any participants to walk in a pair of sex workers' heels. The goal was to ask people to 'step into their shoes'.
  • Nigerian sex workers protested for legal recognition

    Nigerian sex workers protested for legal recognition
    The sex workers took it to the street and protest against the discrimination. They demanded the government to remove the stigma around their job and started recognising their job as a legitimate occupation.