Leadership capacity building workshop is held for sex workers in Saint-Petersburgh

On October 31-November 1, a training seminar “Leadership capacity development of sex workers (SWs)” is held in St. Petersburg within the framework of the project “Strategic meeting of the sex workers community representatives”.

The event is held within the framework of the regional program “Partnership for equal access to a continuum of HIV services for all who need it in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries”, implemented by the East European and Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV with the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The purpose of the meeting is to develop leadership and interaction with government bodies, including the possibility of obtaining government funding under of grants or subventions, as well as participation in health programs at the federal and local levels.

“This meeting is a special one as 80% of participants are sex workers themselves. They know exactly what is necessary for systemic changes, they are the ones who can plan and do everything to improve their situation”, says Iryna Maslova, leader of the “Silver Rose” sex workers’ movement.

A lot has already been done, and the community of the Russian Federation gained a lot of experience to exchange. The leadership capacity was boosted, combining skills of self-management and management of other people with the purpose of strengthening the work of the SW community in the area of HIV response. The knowledge and skills increased on interaction with state and non-governmental organizations and public authorities for efficient cooperation in the HIV response area.

It should be noted that the Consortium in the Russian Federation on expanding access to the continuum of HIV-related services includes the following organization: Russian NGO “Center Plus”, “Silver Rose” sex workers’ movement, Zerkalo Foundation, All-Russian NGO “Association of People Living with HIV”, Russian Civic Foundation “Steps”, Moscow Oblast CSO “Positive oblast”, Russian NGO “Center plus”.