Serbia CEDAW Shadow Report

NGO Equal Rights

In February 2016, following pressure from fundamental feminist and abolitionist organisations, the Serbian government criminalised the purchase of sexual services through amendments to the Public Law and Order Act. Sex workers were ignored during discussion that preceded the adoption of the law. Selling sex remains criminalised. Criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services in Serbia has increased sex workers’ vulnerability to violence and marginalisation and reduced their access to services. Police continue to perpetrate violence against, extort money from, and ignore reports of violence against sex workers. Fundamental feminist and abolitionist discourse has increased the exclusion of sex workers from the women’s and LGBT organisations in the country.

This shadow report, submitted by Serbian sex worker-led organisation Sloboda Prava (NGO Equal Rights) during the 72nd CEDAW Session, which took place February-March 2019, highlights these issues.

Contents include:

  • Legal context
  • Impact of client criminalisation in Serbia
  • Stigma and discrimination
  • Implementation of trafficking laws
  • Lack of due process in justice systems
  • Police violence
  • Recommendations

You can download this 8-page document above. It is available in English.

Funding from PITCH through the Free Space process supported the development of this Shadow Report and the participation of a country team of sex workers to the 72nd CEDAW session.