We stand in sombre solidarity with Petite Jasmine and Özer Dora’s friends, family, lovers, and colleagues.
The tragedy that happened to Jasmine and Dora should never have occurred. These brutal acts are manifestations of hate, and are the result of state-sanctioned discrimination against sex workers. Jasmine was a victim of Sweden’s social services and Dora was a victim of Turkey’s lack of rights for trans people and sex workers. Unfortunately, such circumstances are not unique to Sweden or Turkey.
Sex workers around the world still face constant stigma, discrimination, and different forms of violence simply because of their occupation.
What happened to Jasmine and Dora can happen to any other sex worker—and may very well be happening now without our knowledge. Governments around the world should ensure that the rights of sex workers are protected; International Organizations should stop sitting on the fence with regards to sex work and sex workers, and start taking a proactive approach to protect lives and human dignity. Sex work is work; and sex workers’ rights are human rights.
We call upon Sweden and Turkey to uphold the rule of law, and to ensure that everyone is equal under the law regardless of their occupation, their gender identity and sex orientation, and other identity markers.
Furthermore, States need to realise that sex workers are vulnerable to such hate crimes if more is not done to counter the institutionalised stigma and discrimination against sex workers.
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