Your are a migrant sex worker ? Here are some informations and useful links for you
What is Espace P... What kind of support can you find with us
– Espace P… is a service that tries to provide answers to all requests from prostitutes. We also provide some help to their relatives and their clients.
– Espace P…is present in Liege, Seraing, Brussels, Namur, Charleroi, Mons, Tournai and the region of Arlon.
– We welcome you in our offices, but we mainly meet you where you work
– All our services are free.
– We distribute condoms, lubricants, vaginal tampons, etc…
– We can help you with any social, medical, administrative or legal issues.
– We guarantee your privacy (we never need to know your real name).
– We do not cooperate with police nor authorities.
– We offer free vaccination against hepatitis B.
– In some of our offices, we also propose screening for cervical cancer of the uterus.
– We fight fo your rights in municipalities, cities and federal government.
– We want to change the negative attitudes of society towards sexworkes.
– We fight for prostitutionto be recognized as a profession.
The legislation on prostitution
In Belgium, prostitution is not an offence, so it is perfectly legal to do sexwork. But since pimping is prohibited, prostitution cannot be practiced as an employee. If you do sexwork on a regular basis, you must therefore register as self-employed, pay social laws and taxes.
Buying sexual services is not an offence if the person is consenting and of age. However, some communes try to fight solicitation in a very broad way by attacking clients, whether it be through regulations or police intimidation.
Beware, demonstrations contrary to public order or morality are prosecuted (for example: nudity in shop windows, provoking a slowdown of cars, etc.). )
The main prohibitions are the following (articles 380 and following of the Penal Code):
– Pimping (pimping occurs whenever a person prostitutes himself under the authority of a third party, even if he consents and is declared under a work contract)
– Solicitation (i.e. the action, in a public place, of provoking a person to debauchery by words, gestures or signs).
– Advertising for offers of sexual services (in practice, this is widely tolerated).
– Real estate pimping (i.e., collecting an « abnormal » rent because of the prostitution activity carried out in the rented property. The abnormal character of the profit is at the discretion of the judge. It is therefore possible, quite legally, to propose a rented property with a view to prostitution, but beware of the rent, which must not be excessive. If you have any doubts, contact the Public Prosecutor’s Office in your region, they will be able to give you some clues to evaluate how much rent constitutes an abnormal profit.
The notion of pimping is defined in the Penal Code as follows:
1° whoever has hired, trained, misappropriated or retained for the purpose of prostitution, even with his or her consent, a person of full age;
2° whoever has kept a brothel;
3° whoever has sold, rented or made available for the purpose of prostitution rooms or any other premises for the purpose of making an abnormal profit;
4° anyone who has, in any way whatsoever, exploited the prostitution of others.
Aggravated pimping will be referred to when the offender :
1° uses violence, threats, fraudulent maneuvers or any form of coercion;
2° abuses the particularly vulnerable situation of a person because of his illegal or precarious administrative situation, a state of pregnancy, illness, infirmity or physical or mental disability ;
3° or when minors are involved. The penalty will be even more severe if the minor is under 16 years of age. (Corruption of minors art. 379)
Belgian law entrusts municipalities, under the authority of the Mayor, with the responsibility of managing public order on their territory.
In some communes, street prostitutes and their clients are hunted.
In the event of a disturbance of public order, the communes can sanction or close establishments where prostitution is practiced.
Some communes tax places of prostitution.
For more information, please contact
Read Chapter VI of the Penal Code entitled: Corruption of Youth and Prostitution, articles 379 to 382.
Are you a victim of exploitation?
Someone is trying to control you, to enslave you, to sequester you.
You have had your passport taken away. You are advised/obliged to use a false identity or even someone else’s papers.
You are forced to work or do things you don’t want to do (e.g., sodomy, fellatio or a relationship without a condom, etc.). You are pushed to put yourself in danger.
Threats are made to you or your loved ones to force you to do things you don’t want to do or to stop you from talking.
You are subjected to physical or psychological violence (beatings, rape, insults, humiliation, threats, deprivation of food or free time, etc.).
You are cut off from the world or locked up.
You are forced to live in misery, for example to sleep on the floor where you work.
You are drugged or abused.
You work without rest or pay.
If you recognize yourself in one of these situations, contact the Trafficking in Human Beings (TEH) service of the police immediately or call 112. You can also talk about it with our workers or contact one of the associations specialized in helping victims of human trafficking :
Sürya : 2, rue Rouveroy 4000 Liège 32 (0)4 232 40 30
Pag-Asa : 16B rue des Alexiens 1000 Brussels +32 (0)2 511 64 64
Payöke : 4 Leguit, 2000 Antwerpen +32 (0)3 201 16 90
Information vaccination & screening
Espace P… has a team of doctors specialized in prevention issues related to the specificities of sex work. All our interventions are anonymous and free of charge and take place in absolute respect of medical confidentiality. Moreover, we have developed an important program of vaccination against hepatitis B, cervical cancer screening smears and screening for STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
Why and when to take a smear test?
The Pap smear is used to detect the precursor stages of cervical cancer. Indeed, at the beginning of the disease, no symptoms are visible, only abnormal cells are present on the cervix. Regular Pap smears are important because early diagnosis can prevent cervical cancer.
What is a Pap smear?
A Pap smear is a gynecological examination that collects cells from the cervix using a special small brush. This sample is then sent to the laboratory for analysis. The smear can ideally be taken every year. Cervical cancer is, in the majority of cases, linked to an infection by a virus: the papillomavirus or HPV. Infection by this virus is favoured by an early sexual life or the multiplication of partners. Condoms do not provide 100% protection against HPV because HPV can be transmitted through sexual caresses. This test is offered to you anonymously and free of charge. It can also be carried out at your request by your doctor or gynecologist.
Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections
AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis B and C can be detected by taking a blood test. Chlamydia and gonococcus can be detected by a vaginal smear or a urine test.
These tests can ideally be performed annually. In case of risk taking it is recommended to take a test.
Vaccination against hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a highly contagious liver disease. It affects one person in ten!
This disease is transmitted during sexual intercourse (semen, vaginal secretions), through blood and saliva. By getting vaccinated, you are protected for life.
How do I get vaccinated?
The first thing to do is to have a blood test to find out if you are already immune to hepatitis B.
If this is not the case, the doctor may suggest the following:
– 1st injection
– 2nd injection 1 month after
– 3rd injection 3 months after the 2nd
At least one month after the third injection, a blood sample is taken to monitor the vaccine’s efficacy.
Espace P can also suggest strategies to avoid the risk-taking that some clients encourage you to do.
Your health is too precious! :
– Work always using a condom! Also while giving a blow job! Some clients will offer large sums of money to have unprotected sex but NEVER accept their proposals and protect yourself consistently. Your life is worth more than a couple of euros! Avoid vaginal douching because they foster infections. Use water-based lubricants and do not use greasy products (massage oil, …) onto the condom.
Work only when a certain amount is being offered:
– Inform yourself with other girls in order to know the prices on the market. Adapt yourself to those prices. If all girls work for the same price, the clients will not be able to force you to drop the prices.
Ok but that’s too expensive! :
– Bargain well with the client in advance about “extras” you agree upon and about the tariffs you request. During the bargaining, be always clear and precise towards the client about what you are ready to accept are not. In this way, you can avoid conflictual situations in the room.
Only in the hotel! :
– Never work outside hotels: cars of clients or garages are no safe places. Warn your client that you only work in the hotel. You will be safe there. Be reminded that each sexual act in public is punishable by law (building lobby, bushes, …).
Respect your working environment :
– Do not throw litter (cigarette butt, waste) around you. Do not linger in front of display windows of open stores or in front of building entries. Do not provoke your neighbourhood nor passers-by by behaving yourself improperly. Be courteous and polite to people that surround you and they will be courteous and polite to you. If you respect your client, he will come back to you.
Be always argus-eyed :
– Avoid keeping with you large sums of money. Circumvent drunk clients or those you distrust. In the room, do not turn your back to your client when you get undressed. Keep always an eye on your bag and your personal belongings.
They are there to help you :
– Establish contacts with other girls. They can help and advise you. Do not hesitate to speak to the Espace P workers. The association is there to listen to you and to try to help you, regardless of your problem or request. Standby medical services are free and anonymous. Come and have yourself tested regularly. In case of emergency, call the police by phone on 101.
This leaflet has been made by sex workers in partnership with the social workers of Espace P … It is meant for new sex workers met by the Espace P … team during their street work. With the support of the Ministry of Brussels Capital Region, of Cocof Centre d’Action Sociale Globale. (general social aid centre).