Swimming against the tide: Decriminalization of sex work in Belgium

Development Research Seminar with Marianne Chargois
Tuesday 30 May 2023, 16:00 - 18:00
Spoken Language
Aula A
International Institute of Social Studies
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Please contact Eveline Deutman for more information about this seminar.

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Marianne Chargois talking about swimming against tide decriminalization sex work belgium

In this Development Research Seminar, Marianne Chargois talks about Belgium's recent law change enabling sex workers to carry out their work freely.

While the regulation of sex work has become increasingly repressive in many European countries, Belgium swims against the tide. A year ago, the Belgian parliament approved that prostitution will be removed from criminal law, enabling sex workers to carry out their work freely.

This new environment makes the screening of clients and the fight against exploitation and violence easier. The sex workers' collective Utsopi has been fighting for the decriminalization of sex work in Belgium since 2015.

In this seminar, Marianne Chargois traces the collective’s campaign for sex work decriminalization – and highlights what the Netherlands can learn from its neighbour in this regard.

About Marianne Chargois

Marianne Chargois is a sex worker, artist and activist. She creates feminist and sexual-political performances on the body and sexual minorities.

Since 2018 she organises the SNAP festival, a festival dedicated to political and artistic self-representation for sex workers, now taking place yearly in Brussels.

An Utsopi member for years, this year she joined the sex workers union's executive team to develop the cultural chapter of the organization, as well as to take a seat at the table during the political process after decriminalization.

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The Development Research seminars present cutting-edge research on development studies by noted scholars from around the world. The Series aims to stimulate critical discussion about contemporary development issues.

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