Red Umbrella Athens (RUA) is an Empowerment Center for Sex Workers. It was created in December 2015 on the initiative of “Positive Voice” (Greek Association of People Living with HIV), “Checkpoint” (Prevention & Sexual Health Centers) and “Prometheus” (Hellenic Liver Patient Association). It operates under the scientific supervision of the Department of Psychology of the University of Crete and the Clinical Research Laboratory: Subjectivity and Social Bonding at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. In July 2022, Red Umbrella Thessaloniki (RUTh), our counterpart center in the Thessaloniki area, started operating.
Red Umbrella is designed and implemented by people from both the sex workers’ community and other vulnerable social groups. Our operation is based on guidelines and best practice examples of global organisations and sex worker associations (e.g. NSWP, WHO, ESWA). Red Umbrella Athens received an honorary distinction at the Healthcare Business Awards 2018 in the category of Patient Association activities aimed at informing, raising public awareness and promoting prevention.
Red Umbrella’s mission is to be a meeting point of empowerment in a non-discriminatory and nonjudgmental environment. We advocate that sex workers should be equal citizens of this country at all levels (political, social, legal, economic, etc.) and have the same rights and obligations at the individual, social and work levels. We demand the improvement of the current legal framework (L2734/1999) and the removal of obstacles to the decriminalisation of sex work according to the Dutch-German and New Zealand models.
Since the establishment of Red Umbrella we have been actively participating in scientific conferences to inform and raise awareness of the scientific community and society as a whole. We are a member of the following international networks:
We provide services and implement a variety of programmes and awareness-raising campaigns with equal and meaningful participation in the organization, management, planning and implementation by sex workers. Our joint initiative aims to ensure the rights of sex workers, to inform and raise awareness of the state and society at large, to provide empowerment services and health promotion, with the ultimate goal of social inclusion of sex workers in Greece.