Welcome to ESWA's First Congress!

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Below we will cover:

- Overview

- Programme and Key Dates

- Workshops

- Logistics

- Q&A

- Accessibility Info

 

 

Overview

ESWA is proud to organise its first Congress which will take place in Brussels, between 10th and 13th of October 2022.

With dozens of workshops on sex workers’ rights, legal frameworks, access to justice, health or digital rights; a public conference and event at European Parliament, ESWA’s Congress will be an amazing opportunity for sex workers from across Europe and Central Asia to meet each other, network, strategise and develop their capacities to continue the fight for sex workers’ rights!

On top of that, in 2022, ESWA is becoming an Association (Vereniging) after 18 years as a Foundation (Stichting). The Board of Directors approved this legal change which will give greater power to ESWA members, in particular sex worker-led organisations. More information will be made available about these legal changes and how they affect ESWA members prior and during the Conference. 

The Congress will also include our first members’ General Assembly, a hybrid event where members of ESWA will be able to engage further with the work of ESWA and for sex worker-led members to vote on activity and financial reports, as well as propose changes to ESWA’s priorities and ways of working. With greater democratic engagement and transparency, it is an opportunity for our members to influence ESWA’s work for the benefit of all sex workers!

 

Programme and Key Dates

The Congress will take place over 4 days (Monday 10 - Thursday 13 October) and include: 

The Congress itself: 2 days of workshops, trainings, discussions on issues affecting sex workers. Some of these sessions are led by our members, others by ESWA and a few by allies. Most sessions are open to all with some reserved for sex workers only or BPOC sex workers only.

The General Assembly

The Conference: public event with key speakers

The Public Event at European Parliament

 

 

Logistics

The Congress will take place at a hotel in the city centre, near the beautiful Grand-Place. We are expecting 200 participants.

ESWA is covering travel, accommodation and catering for 30 sex workers from across the region. The call for scholarship is now closed.

Participation in the Congress is free for sex workers (current and former). We invite allies attending the event to donate 25 euros / day to help us with the costs of the Congress.

ESWA will provide coffee, tea, fruits and pastries in the morning break. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide lunch. There are many food outlets and restaurants nearby and plenty of time to eat and network!

Participants are invited to book accommodation near the Grand Place, or accessible by public transport. The closest tube station is Bourse/Beurs. While ESWA will not provide a list of recommended hotels, we will try to find ‘solidarity accommodation’ with local activists, sex workers and allies for those on a tight budget. If this applies to you, please contact us at [email protected] with the subject: Solidarity Accommodation.

There are unfortunately no rooms available at the Congress hotel for these dates.

 

Q&A

  1. Who can attend the Congress? 

The Congress is for all sex workers and allies working or living in Europe and Central Asia. However, due the limited size of the venue, ESWA will cap participation to 200 people.

  2. I have missed the registration deadline. Can I still join?

If you have missed the registration deadline, please fill the form. You will be put on a waiting list and we will contact you as soon as someone else cancels.

  3. I registered but can not join anymore. 

Please contact us asap so that we can give your seat to someone else on the waiting list.

  4. What about COVID-19?

The first ESWA Congress was planned for 2020 and was cancelled several times because of COVID-19. The ESWA team and Board  do understand that there are risks associated with any large gathering but believe that after these three difficult years, it is important for our members to come together, learn from each other and strategize for our movement.

We invite all participants to be responsible for their own health and risk mitigation strategies. In particular:

  • Do not attend the event if you have any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Get tested at least 24 hours before attending.
  • Masks will not be mandatory for the main sessions but everyone can decide if they prefer to wear one. Workshops facilitators can also ask for participants to wear a mask. 
  • ESWA will provide self-testing kits for participants. 
  • Wash your hands regularly!

ESWA is not responsible for any cases of COVID-19 transmission during Congress and will not cover any costs related to extended stay, travel and accommodation cancellation, testing for participants or any costs you may incur.

  5. What can I do to help?

There will be an opportunity to volunteer at the Congress in particular by joining different teams such as welcoming, ‘wellbeing’ or keeping the venue tidy.

You can also donate to ESWA via our site or via our Indiegogo fundraiser!

 

6. What will be the language used?

The Congress will primarily take place in English. Some sessions might be in other languages such as French, Russian or Spanish. We are still working on this and will update this with more info soon.

 

Accessibility Info

We will update this as soon as possible once we have confirmed with the hotel venue.