International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers Date in the current year: December 17, 2017

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is a global observance held on December 17. It originated in the United States in 2004 and has been observed annually ever since.

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers was originally conceived as a vigil and memorial for the victims of the Green River Killer. Gary Leon Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer, killed at least 49 women, most of whom were prostitutes, during the 1980s and 1990s. The memorial day was suggested by Annie Sprinkle, American sex educator and former prostitute, and the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA.

The day is observed by sex workers, their advocates, allies, families, and friends across the world. It aims to raise public awareness of hate crimes against sex workers and promotes the need to fight with the discrimination and social stigma.

The red umbrella is an important symbol of the observance and sex worker rights in general. It was first used by Italian sex workers in 2001. They held the Red Umbrellas March, a street demonstration against human rights violation and inhumane work conditions. In 2005, the red umbrella was adopted a symbol of the fight against discrimination by the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe.

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International Observances

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International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, international observance, red umbrella