SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Hundreds of sex workers and rights activists in North Macedonia, where prostitution is illegal, have marched through the capital of Skopje on Tuesday to protest alleged police brutality and indifference to their complaints of violence.
The Sex Workers’ Coalition human rights group said it documented a 100 cases of attacks on sex workers last year, including alleged rape and assault by police. It said the most common attacks involved violence by members of the sex workers’ families who disapproved of their work.
A spokeswoman for the coalition, Dragana Drndarevska, said North Macedonia’s sex workers lack adequate protections and urged the country’s center-left government to make prostitution legal.
“We believe that decriminalization will best protect their human rights,” Drndarevska said.
The coalition said transgender sex workers are even more vulnerable to violence and marginalization.