At the same time, many organisations are urging the government to implement measures to support sex workers.
As GRIPS Gruppo di Ricerca Italiano su Prostituzione e Lavoro Sessuale — Italian Research Group on Prostitution and Sex Work we seek to understand what is happening to individuals involved in sex work — whether by choice, force, or necessity — and strive to produce research directly informed by their experiences.
Another problem that has been reported by outreach organisations concerns the loss of income deriving from the lockdown. They speak of a very problematic reality. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website.
In Italy, outreach projects are the best positioned observers of outdoor sex work. Given that in Italy sex work is not recognised as work, the majority of sex workers do not have access to the welfare protections guaranteed to other workers, such as sick leave. Reception and protection programmes for victims of human trafficking are still guaranteed, but other impediments have occurred due to the legal restriction of freedom of movement.
Being multi-disciplinary and cross-sector, GRIPS is made up of researchers, members of organisations that support sex workers, activists of sex workers rights collectives, as well as other social actors that work in the field and can present the multi-faced realm of prostitution.
In very little time, the current COVID crisis highlighted countless contradictions and problems linked to our social and economic system. GRIPS Gruppo di Ricerca Italiano su Prostituzione e Lavoro Sessuale — Italian Research Group on Prostitution and Sex Work was created in Novemberwith the aim of promoting research based on empirical evidences; understanding the complexity of prostitution and sex work; fostering the dissemination of knowledge; contributing to the public debate and the following policy-making process; as well as organising events deed to exchange experiences, self- train individuals and initiate a public dialogue.
The possibility to continue working online is only available to individuals who have easy access to technologies and can provide their services via webcam. Social workers and sex worker organisations also report increasing risks linked to mental health, often related to drug use and to the lack of access to hormone replacement therapies for transgender individuals.
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In fact, its terms of access require producing proof of income, which sex workers can rarely provide. In this context, people who earn a living doing sex work are amongst the most vulnerable because they are disproportionately affected by stigmatisation, discrimination, and social exclusion.
For instance, social and health services as well as activities in schools, police headquarters, courts and embassies are reduced to a minimum; similarly, vocational training has been interrupted. Moreover, in response to the lack of state aids for sex workers, several sex worker-led and other organisations have launched fundraising campaigns worldwide to support most vulnerable and affected sex workers.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics,other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Where are sex workers in all this? Returning to the case of Italy, organisations that support sex workers have also started to intervene at several levels. Other healthcare services, such as the ones provided by voluntary organisations, can hardly cope with the countless help requests made by vulnerable people.
Ho capito Non sono d'accordo Informativa. And how are they coping with this continuing state of emergency? As GRIPS, we strongly support all calls and initiatives launched by the network of outreach projects, sex worker rights collectives and anti-trafficking organisations, recognising the need for an urgent policy in this field.
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Massage parlours and eros centres, as well as saunas and hotels have been shut by the lockdown emergency measures against COVID, which in order to limit the spread of the infectious disease, restrict freedom of movement within and outside national boundaries. This is the reality that we hear from harm reduction and support projects aiding people to exit human trafficking and sexual exploitation in several Italian cities: from Milan to Ragusa, to Pordenone, Bologna, Pisa, Rome and Naples.
At the same time, they dreaded fines and sought to avoid police checks. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, the United Nations special rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, demanded governments to adopt measures for the protection of migrants and victims of trafficking in humans beings; in particular, she called for regularization measures in order to facilitate access to healthcare during the pandemic. As a result, to date, they cannot benefit from the emergency measures of social security recently adopted by the Governmentwith the sole exception of those few workers who are VAT-registered.
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They do not have money to pay for food, their rent or the bills. These cookies do not store any personal information. Non-necessary Non-necessary. Because of lack of autonomy and debts to pay, exploited workers are worst hit by these circumstances.
Sex workers in the time of covid
But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. At the same time, various solidarity initiatives are spreading across Italy.
Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Since the beginning of the pandemic, sex workers, whether cis-women or transgender, have almost abandoned the streets due to the fear of contagion and out of a sense of responsibility for public health. We strongly urge the immediate adoption of all possible measures to guarantee a decent survival for everyone, leaving no one behind.
For instance, along with other entities that work in the field of anti-trafficking, the Comitato per i Diritti Civili delle Prostitute Committee for the Civil Rights of Prostitutes and the Associazione Radicale Certi Diritti Radical Association Certain Rights has requested to : 1 introduce easily accessible financial support for sex workers; 2 guarantee the regularisation of migrant sex workers, as well as their acceptance in reception centres if requested; 3 release people detained for migration offences, so as to protect their health; 4 enact specific measures to address the housing emergency; 5 suspend sanctions on people for whom it is impossible to abide by the lockdown measures, such as homeless people sleeping in shelters that close during the day.
As far as undocumented and irregular migrants are concerned, we call for their immediate regularisation, measure also demanded by organisations such as Progetto Melting Pot Melting Pot Project and already largely adopted in Portugal. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Outreach projects have had to limit their outdoor activities and the few on-site surveys they can still carry out have no aim other than monitoring the existing situation. In particular, such economic damage has worsened the already difficult financial situations of individuals involved in sex work — whether outdoor or indoor — who have no family or other networks to support them.
Likewise, access to vouchers for groceries is unlikely to be granted to irregular migrants, since they are not registered in the municipality and are not ased to social services. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies.
The network of outreach projects, together with sex worker rights collectives such as Ombre Rossehave launched a crowdfunding campaignwhose revenues will provide economic support to most vulnerable sex workers.