"We are just asking the governments to apply these rights to sex workers, who deserve them as much as anyone else," said Petra Timmerman, a spokesperson for the ICRSE.
group's declaration lists examples of rights violation that sex workers suffer throughout Europe because
of their profession.
said that in most countries, while prostitution is legal or tolerated, sex work is made illegal through the activities tied to it."For example, communication for the purpose of prostitution is illegal, and it is these kinds of laws that make it illegal to do your work without being a criminal in some way," she
The declaration was created and endorsed by a group of some 200 sex workers from 30 countries gathered
in Brussels on October 16 and 17 for the European Conference on Sex Work, Human Rights, Labor and Migration.
"The more people are aware that they have rights to make decisions about their lives, the less vulnerable they are to exploitation," said Timmerman
"If someone has the right to consider doing sex work in another country, it is likely they will not need to rely on illegal means to get there."
The group argues that sex workers should have the same protected rights that have been granted to other groups such as migrant laborers and agricultural workers."If people are going to work, they should be working under the best possible conditions, with as many rights as possible, so they're not at the mercy of people who want to exploit them," said Timmerman
Along with being able to enjoy full rights, sex workers would also become part of their society by paying taxes that would grant them the same rights to health care, schools and pensions as other citizens."It's going to be a bit of a learning curve for sex workers,!
" said Timmerman