Athens, March 19, 2020


Subject: «The Greek Transgender Support Association calls on the Government to provide financial support for sex workers as a result of the spread of COVID-19».

The Greek Transgender Support Association (GTSA), a voluntary non-governmental organization that promotes the
rights and freedoms of trans, gender-diverse and intersex people and LGBTI persons in general, with this press
release,calls on the Government to provide financial support to sex workers, who, like all our fellow human beings, are unable to support their daily living through the spread of COVID-19.

Specifically, according to Governments announcements published yesterday, it has released a package of financial support measures to both workers and self-employed workers whose work has been suspended because of measures taken by the Government.

At the same time, in recent days, the Government has suspended the operation of brothels and consequently sex workers belonging to this category need financial support, on the other hand, sex workers working in open spaces and because of restrictive measures to prevent the transmission of the virus, they are both insecure and experience the same need for financial support. We note, however, that trans women also fall into this category, who, due to the chronic exclusions they experience in the workplace, they are doing sex work in order to survive.

In all of the above, one must certainly take into account the stigma and exclusions experienced by sex workers, due to a Law (L. 2734/1999) with irrational provisions that exacerbate the stigma and exclusions they experience , and largely excludes the possibility of recognizing legitimate work, and therefore excludes it from the employment and insurance rights enjoyed by all our fellow workers.

In this context, it is necessary for the Government to take the necessary financial support and solidarity measures to enable sex workers, regardless of their place of work, irrespective of their sex or gender identity, regardless of origin, and regardless of whether they are covered by the provisions of Law 2734/1999 which is responsible for the fact that (some of them) do not enjoy labor and social security rights, so that no one of ours (including sex workers) in the face of this unprecedented crisis not to be sidelined and able to survive financially, and also because of the strong need to survive, do not put themselves, as well as their relatives at risk.

Particularly at these critical times for our country, it is more than necessary for the Government to extend the umbrella of solidarity to all people, including sex workers, and other vulnerable groups such as the homeless and/or people with disabilities.

At the same time, the GTSA reiterates its position on the revision of Law 2734/1999[1] that stigmatizes sex workers, and calls on the Government to take initiatives to introduce new legislation governing that sex work is work, and sex workers will have full employment and insurance rights without restrictions and will be protected from discrimination and stigma.

The Greek Transgender Support Association, is on the side of sex workers and every other vulnerable group, and calls on the Government to show its full support and solidarity to those who experience the stigma to the fullest and at the same time the impact of the spread of the virus on these unprecedented all our conditions.



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[1] GTSA positions on sex work: