June 2 gives us an event with a touch of piquancy; this is International Sex Workers Day. It was created to raise awareness about those providing services of an intimate nature. It attracts attention to the issues of people’s attitudes toward those working in this field. They face brutality, humiliation, illegal actions by the police, authorities, and clients.
The trigger for creating this holiday took place in 1975, in Lyon. Sex workers protested in an attempt to inform the public and authorities about their terrible working conditions and unfair exploitation. French law enforcement officers acted aggressively against sex workers. This led to the formation of secret underground organizations, a shadow business. Sex workers who lost protection were abused. The protests changed the situation of the participants for the better. This holiday was first held in 1976.
In Spain, this day is called the Day of Sexual Exploitation, in Germany — Hurentag, in the English-speaking world — Whore’s Day.
- International Sex Workers’ Day has had bloody episodes in retrospect.
- The Lyon sex worker strike lasted 8 days. The police were powerless to stop them.
- Rising social tension in France in the 70s was facilitated by the absolute inaction and indifference of the government.
French police officers during the conflict acted against pimps, drug dealers collaborated with sex companies, and identified cases of sexual abuse of minors. The police’s actions were aimed at combating crime related to the activities of prostitutes, as prostitution itself was legal.
How to take part
Raise awareness, read the documents freely available on the main reasons for the appearance of this day dedicated to the protection of people engaged in the intimate industry. Get rid of stereotypical attitudes towards sex workers.
In 2011, a reading of Women without Rooms took place in the German city of Bochum. It revealed the difficult situation in Europe relating to sexual services has not improved qualitatively. Signs of deterioration in terms of working conditions and the attitudes toward people are manifested.
When is International Sex Workers’ Day celebrated in 2024?
International Sex Workers’ Day is observed on June 2 each year.