‘Don’t forget us’: Belgian sex workers ask for donations to survive lockdown
Share article:
Share article:

‘Don’t forget us’: Belgian sex workers ask for donations to survive lockdown

Credit: Belga

The Belgian union for sex workers, UTSOPI, launched a call to help workers who no longer have any income now that they have had to stop their activities due to the coronavirus lockdown.

“We have received more applications for help in recent weeks than during the entire three months of the first lockdown,” a UTSOPI spokesperson told The Brussels Times.

A lot of sex workers are no longer able to pay rent or medical expenses, and have to resort to food tickets to feed themselves, as they do not have a statute to fall back on now that they cannot work.

After Belgium’s lockdown measures went into force at the start of November, the Brussels French Community Commission (COCOF) released a budget to offer food tickets for sex workers who found themselves without an income overnight.

The tickets were issued in response to a demand for financial support from sex workers, but were “definitely not enough” to survive the Covid-19 crisis, according to the sex worker organisation.

Related News:


During the lockdown in Spring, the virus and the ban on sex work already “gnawed through most of our savings,” the spokesperson said.

UTSOPI already organised crowdfundings to raise money to help sex workers in need before the summer, but the support is needed now more than ever, according to the organisation.

“Due to the lack of official statute, most sex workers do not receive any government support to fall back on, like other people who are now temporarily unemployed do,” he added.

“Help us to support [the sex workers], make a donation, share this message, do not forget us,” the organisation said in a message on social media.

Citizens can make a donation, which will be used to buy food, pay for basic medical care and emergency accommodation for sex workers evicted from their homes, among other things.

While UTSOPI aims to help as many sex workers as possible, priority will be given to undocumented people, single people with children or other dependants, and people without any other income or government assistance, in that order.

“Believe us that we are doing our utmost to support all sex workers in Belgium in this unprecedented crisis situation, but we must also make difficult choices and prioritise the people most at risk as much as possible,” they added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

EU decides to activate emergency brake against new COVID-variant but stops short of flight ban
The new COVID variant detected in South Africa has put the EU on alert and prompted the Council’s Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) to ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
Cheat Sheet: New Rules, Quiet December Nights
It's been a while since we've had measures complicated enough to deserve a cheat sheet, but less than a week after Belgium rolled out new measures, ...
Belgium records highest number of new cases since start of pandemic
An average of 16,762 infections per day is now recorded in Belgium, with an absolute record of more than 25,000 infections in one day last Monday, ...
Brexit: trade and travel disrupted as French fishermen blockade ports and Eurotunnel
On Friday, the national committee for the French fishing industry has coordinated a blockade of three French ports as well as lorries bearing freight ...
Belgium implements ‘package of strict measures’
Not even a week after the previous measures came into force, Belgium is taking stricter measures to stop the fourth wave in the country, announced ...
Even with strong action now, ‘we will still have a few weeks of misery,’ says Vlieghe
Even if the Consultative Committee takes powerful and clear decisions today, Belgium will still have to endure a few weeks of misery while the number ...
Brussels tunnels blocked by Uber driver protest
Several tunnels in the centre of Brussels were blocked on Friday morning by Uber drivers protesting against a ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal ...
Police strikes at Brussels and Charleroi airports cause delays
Police unions are taking action at Brussels and Charleroi airports this Friday morning, causing delayed services at both locations. At 7:00 AM at ...
Black Friday not your bag? Try Green Friday
Today is Black Friday: a North American custom that has made its way across the Atlantic and is when retailers aim to draw consumers in with low ...
Study links social media use with depression in adults
While social media has been linked to anxiety and depression in teens, a new study now suggests that adults are also susceptible. In Belgium, a ...
Nearly half a million of lives saved by COVID-19 vaccination in Europe, new study shows
A new study published on Thursday estimates that at least 470,000 lives have been saved among those aged 60 years and over since the start of ...