International Sex Workers Day Date in the current year: June 2, 2024

International Sex Workers Day International Sex Workers Day, also referred to as International Whores’ Day, is observed annually on June 2. It strive to raise awareness of the often exploited working conditions of sex workers.

The history of International Sex Workers Day began in the 1970s in France. Back then, prostitution was legal in France, but surrounding activities were illegal like pimping, operating a brothel, or paying for sex with someone underage. Nevertheless, police kept sex worker under increasing pressure, forcing them to work in secret. Sex workers weren’t protected, which led to increasing violence against them. The government did nothing to improve the situation.

After two sex workers were murdered, a group of sex workers in the city of Lyon occupied the Church of Saint-Nizier on June 2, 1975. They went on a strike to draw attention to their inhumane working conditions and to put an end to the sex worker stigma.

The police of Lyon cleared the church after eight days, but the protest wasn’t in vain. It was the spark that lit the fire of the international sex workers’ rights movement. The inaugural International Sex Workers Day was celebrated on June 2, 1976 to commemorate the first anniversary of the strike.

There are two more observances that aim to remove the social stigma and discrimination against sex workers. They are International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (December 17) and International Sex Workers’ Rights Day (March 3).

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