[ 05. Jun 2009 ]

2 June - International Sex Workers Day

Sexworkers lust for ... their rights - Vienna, 02. Jun 2009

Self organization of sex workers and support organizations criticize double standards and political stagnation in Austria.


Self organization of sex workers and support organizations criticize double standards and political stagnation in Austria.

Press release of the organizations: LEFÖ, maiz,, SXA-Info, Lena and the AIDS assistance Salzburg at the 26/05/2009

Sex work is still only "endured" in Austria. Obligations of sex workers are regulated, but rights are not. Sex work is still considered "immoral" according to the still uncontradicted jurisdiction of the highest Court of Justice (1989) in Austria. The income of sex workers, however, is taxed. Sex work is neither recognized as a trade, nor gainful employment. Work as employed persons is not possible for sex workers. Deportation threatens third-country-citizens who infringe upon prostitution legislation. Migrant sex workers, who worked for many years with a "prostitution visa" in Austria were illegalized by immigration law package with 1.1.2006. On the occasion of the international Hurentag on 2 June 2009, as well as the support organizations for sexworkers LEFÖ (Vienna), maiz (Linz), Lena (Linz), SXA-Info (Graz) and AIDS assistance Salzburg demand the legal acknowledgment of sex work and the equalization of sex workers with other employed persons. "The continuing lack of rights of sex workers in Austria is intolerable and an expression of an ignorant attitude in relation to a social reality", criticizes Faika El-Nagashi (LEFÖ) representatively of the organizations, the Austrian handling of the topic. The increasing repressions towards sex workers - arbitrary complaints, expulsions, disproportionate lump-sum taxations, client punishments - enforce the precarious working and living conditions of sex workers and the constant devaluation that is directed towards them and their work.

In Upper Austria, for example, where for the first time a proper prostitution law will replace the past regulations in the Police Penal Code, the available draft practices once more restriction and control. Instead of an approach of de-stigmatisation and of clear positive orientation points, the law is consists of unclear prohibition regulations, which open up a broad scope of interpretation for authorities, municipalities and brothel owners. maiz demands a factual handling of the topic in OÖ: "The legislator must notice its responsibility here. It is time to de-stigmatise and de-criminalise sex work as well as to recognize the persons employed in sex work as service providers, in order to proceed against the extreme precarious conditions and the discrimination. " "We see an urgent need for action and demand the uncompromising legal acknowledgment and equalization of sex workers from the political decision makers ", so El-Nagashi.

The organizations again stress their demands of many years on the occasion of the international Hurentag on 2 June:

  • Decoupling of the regulation range of prostitution from moral standards
  • Legal equal treatment and equalization of sex workers with other employed persons through the legalization of sex work and appropriate changes to immigration legislation
  • Protection from precarious conditions, discrimination, sexism and racism

In this sense the organizations call to the action day "Sex workers' rights are human rights!" in Vienna and in Linz on Tuesday, 2 June 2009:

Action Day in Vienna: 13:00 to 19:00
7., Urban-Loritz-Platz, in front of the main library
Live appearance of msCHRA & msMUTT, Info-Café and more
An event by LEFÖ and

Action Day in Linz: 12:30 to 14:30
in the old part of town, Hofgasse 11

maiz invites to an info-lunch-table, on the daily menue: "Old new or new old? The Prostitution law in Upper Austria"

* maiz will also be guests at FROzine, the acoustic info-magazine on radio FRO (105,0 MHz) starting from 18.00