Prostitution or sex work is a universal phenomenon, present in almost every society, with long history, but still insufficiently known, mystified and illegal. The term sex worker is resent and represents non-stigmatizing term for the person that is providing sexual services for money or other material goods.
According to a study that was conducted by Institute of Public Health of Serbia, in cooperation with Association Prevent, it is estimated that number of persons that are providing sexual services on the streets of Novi Sad is over 300. Sex work is in most cases done by young women, that are between 19 and 29 years old. Usually, they start with sex work in the street exactly around the age of 18. In most cases, these are Roma, poor girls, who are internally displaced from Kosovo and Metohija, who never went to school or dropped out of elementary school. None of interviewed women that provide services on the street are employed. Large number of these girls are users of psychoactive substances. Almost all of them are exposed to violence while providing services, but also in their families. They are discriminated in every segment of their lives.
Prostitution issue is complex and intertwined with other issues, such as violence, discrimination, social inequality and poverty. Through programs that we conduct with this vulnerable population, we are focused on improving life quality of the persons that we come into contact with, in accordance with problems and needs of the person. We are not focused on prohibition of sex work, because with those kind of efforts, problems will not be solved, but only swept under the rug.