Red Umbrella Athens

Who do you work with?

Red Umbrella Athens (RUA) primarily offers a wide range of services to adult sex workers (cis and trans female and male) at the first Greek drop-in center, and secondary advocates for sex workers' rights at all levels.

How are sex workers involved in your organisation?

RUA team started as both community and science based with the long-term goal to be led and facilitated solely by community representatives. RUA team has core members (cis and trans female and male) who work or have worked in different areas of sex industry as well as people living with HIV/HCV/HBV, and/or using or have used psychoactive substances.

Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face

Sex workers in Greece face multiple challenges living and working stigmatized, marginalized and criminalized. Although there are few legal indoor settings, the majority of sex workers work illegally and many of them at the streets. There is a severe lack of legislation and policies protecting them and thus they are at high risk of violence from both state and non-state actors. Also, it is quite common practice of the police to use the possession of condoms as evidence of sex work, which increases their vulnerability to HIV and other STIs. Furthermore, sex workers are often migrants facing additional legal issues and social barriers.

Describe other areas of your work

Our organization works in the area of harm reduction, testing for HIV, HBV and HCV, advocacy for the rights of People Living with HIV, outreach interventions, peer to peer services involving people living with HIV, empowerment services for people living with HIV.