Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association

Who do you work with?

Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association works with male, female and transgender sex workers.

How are sex workers involved in your organisation?

Sex workers govern the organisation; all members of the board are sex workers and % 60 of the staff members are sex workers.

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
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
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

The first challenge is policies that criminalise sex workers and their clients. Even though the Turkish Penal Code does not mention that sex work is illegal, every attached activity around sex work is illegal in Turkey. Therefore sex work is criminalised in its different forms. Also, some other laws are used to harass or penalise sex workers.

A second challenge would be violence and impunity for perpetrators.

Describe other areas of your work

We carry out advocacy towards lawmakers and decisionmakers, capacity strengthening for sex workers, visibility and awareness raising events for public education, trainings for different types of stakeholders, etc.