EWL News

Croatia - EWL members debate prostitution law with officials

[Brussels, 03 December 2012] On 30 November 2012, PETRA Network - Prevention and Elimination of Trafficking in Women and Girls in Croatia organised a round table to discuss an upcoming law on Public Peace and Order, which addresses the issue of prostitution. The new law is at the drafting stage. It proposes that both women in prostitution and sex buyers would be face prosecution. PETRA, as well as the Women’s Network Croatia, strongly oppose the criminalisation of women affected by prostitution. The goal of the roundtable was to discuss the law proposal and present the NGOs’ perspective to Croatian officials.

PETRA’s coordinator Djurdjica Kolarec presented the NGOs’ perspective, using the arguments and tools of the EWL campaign ’Together for a Europe free from prostitution’. The event garnered substantial media coverage. Speakers on the round table were Visnja Ljubicic, Ombundswoman for Gender Equality; Djurdjica Kolarec as PETRA coordinator; Vladimir Nemec, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Interior who is in charge for the new law; and Dubravka Simonovic, Croatian representative in CEDAW Committee. Both the Ombudsman and the CEDAW representative strongly advocated for EWL’s position on prostitution, which is about supporting the abolition of prostitution. To find out more, read the Brussels’ Call ’Together for a Europe free from prostitution’, which has been signed by four Croatian organisations: Petra Network, Women’s Network Croatia, Center for Women’s Studies, and Center for Women War Victims – ROSA.

Press article in English about the government’s law proposal here.

PETRA NETWORK - Informal network of 11 women’s NGOs located in different parts of Croatia (5 in Zagreb capital, 2 in Split, one in Slavonski Brod, Pakrac, Vukovar and Porec) founded in 2002. Current Network coordination is done by the Centre for Women War Victims - ROSA in Zagreb. The Network is part of Croatian national anti-trafficking team consisting of 23 representatives of Ministries and institutions that work on suppression of trafficking and support to victims. ROSA Centre is operating National SOS hotline against trafficking 0800 77 99 (daily from 10a.m. to 6p.m.) and provides psychological and legal counselling, does the case work; one of PETRA members provides a shelter for juvenile victims, other mostly work on prevention through education and public awareness raising.

PETRA Network is member of Women’s Network Croatia, which is the EWL national coordination in Croatia.

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