“WE WANT TO LIVE”
International Day of Action, September 21, in Memory of Vanessa Campos and for the rights of trans people, migrants and sex workers
Date: September 21, 2018
Place: Preferably in front of the French embassy of your city or other symbolic place.
Action: Demonstration, visibility action, ‘white market’. We encourage participants to wear white and carry white roses, red umbrellas, transgenerational flag and Vanessa photo sign / signs and slogans against criminalization, discrimination and exclusions.
Letter writing to French Consulates, French Minister for Justice, Equality, Mayor of Paris.
On the night of August 16, 2018, Vanessa Campos was shot in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, France. Vanessa was a trans sex worker of Peruvian descent. She lived and worked as a sex worker in France for 2 years. Sex worker allowed her to live while helping her family in Peru.
Vanessa was murdered while a gang of men were trying to rob her client. The crime was committed with a police gun. 5 men have been arrested and judicial procedures will take place this month.
The murder of Vanessa is part of a long list of violence against trans women, often sex workers, and migrants. Between 2009 and 2017, a total of 2609 trans and gender-diverse people were reported killed in 71 countries between January 2008 and September 2017. Research show that 62% of trans people murdered globally are sex workers, rising to 88% in Europe. In Europe again, 44% of trans people murdered are migrants.
Trans people, sex workers and their organisations have been calling for radical social and political changes to end violence against our communities. However, whilst some progress has been made for the LGBT community, the most vulnerable trans and sex workers continue to be at extreme risks of discrimination, stigma and violence.
In France, despite warnings by sex workers, LGBT, trans, HIV, health and human rights organisations, laws on sex work were changed in 2016. The so-called ‘Swedish Model’ was put in place, penalising the clients of sex workers, whilst retaining all by-laws penalising sex workers and other legal forms of oppression. In April, 2018, Medecins du Monde France published a research on impact of the new law which showed that:
- 63% of sex workers have experienced deterioration of their living conditions, more isolation and greater stress
- 78% of sex workers have experienced a loss of income due to decrease in number of clients and fall of rates
- 42% of sex workers are more exposed to violence
- 70% of sex workers observe no improvement or deterioration of their relations with the police
The more marginalised sex workers, including trans migrant sex workers like Vanessa are the those most affected by the law change.
Furthermore, racism and anti-migrants laws and policies strongly impact migrants capacities to report crime and access justice. Migrant sex workers in France have seen their living and working conditions worsened and are often unable to access documentation (even in case of serious exploitation and trafficking). Rise of extreme-right wing and populist parties and opinions has led to new anti-migrants laws and practices in France and all over Europe.
Confronted with these threats, we demand an end to violence against trans people, migrants and sex workers. We call for unity and solidarity from all sex workers, trans, LGBT, migrants, anti-racists, feminist and labour organisations in France, Europe and globally! Support our day of action by coordinating a protest on September 21st, writing to French institutions, using media and social media.
- End violence against trans people, migrants and sex workers!
- Repeal criminalisation of clients and decriminalise sex work!
- Support migrants’ regularisation and access to work and justice!
Please contact Luca Stevenson at info [at] sexworkeurope [dot] org for more info and/or to inform of your action.