Annual Report 2022

A Message From Our Executive Director


A lot can happen in a year, and 2022 is no exception. It starts with our transition from
Foundation to Association – an important structural move that gives more power to our
members, and will see ESWA become well and truly ‘member led’. After all, we are the people
that make us, and it is only by working together that we can build a powerful movement that
demands long-term, structural change.

And moving we are. For the first time in over a decade, 2022 saw more than 200 sex workers’
rights activists from Europe and Central Asia come together for ESWA’s first-ever Congress.
Held in Brussels with a final closing event in the European Parliament, it served as an important
marker: a celebration of how far we and our members have come, and an evocative and
powerful reminder of where we need to go.

For example, while the past year has seen both ESWA and the broader sex worker community
celebrate a number of very definite ‘wins’, the reality is one that sees anti-sex worker
movements and populist leaders continue to rally against us.
Such attitudes only make us more determined, and 2022 has seen ESWA embark on a
number of new programmes and initiatives. This includes the launch of our BIPOC Sex Worker
Academy, which is aimed at building the capacity of racialised and migrant sex workers. We
also launched a new training programme for therapists engaged with sex workers, as well as
a series of briefing papers and reports exploring key issues such as racism and discrimination,
online privacy, and digital rights.

That’s just the start.

A year of firsts, 2022 also saw ESWA take on its largest-ever research project – an in-depth
exploration into the role and impact of policing on sex workers’ access to justice. These efforts
are also reflected in the launch of two new ESWA related bodies: the European Sex Work
Research Network and the European Coalition for Sex Workers Rights and Inclusion. Bringing
together partners and allies in research and beyond, these new groups are a chance to build
our networks and present a united front that gives people and policy-makers no choice but to

Sex work is work, and we won’t stop until the rights of our community are respected and

Sabrina Sanchez, Executive Director



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