The situation

The digitalisation of the public and private spheres in Europe is exacerbated by global market competition and the COVID-19 pandemic. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are becoming ever more widespread amongst general populations as well as sex workers. While this digitalisation brings many benefits to sex workers’ lives and changes their working habits, new threats are emerging due to harmful laws governing digital spaces and the weaponisation of these technologies. Additionally, technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are already being deployed in many European countries and their use is expected to increase due to the EU's aim to become a ‘leader’ in this area. The adoption of these technologies brings potential risks that civil society has to address in order to safeguard the human rights of marginalised and criminalised communities.

Some of the intersecting topics for sex workers in Europe and Central Asia when it comes to digital rights are: 

  • Online censorship and discrimination
  • Data security and online privacy 
  • Algorithmic biases
  • Platforms and labour rights issues
  • Anti-trafficking rhetoric