December 17 is International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers is observed annually on December 17 since 2003. This annual event started as a memorial and vigil for the tens of victims of the Green River Killer in the United States. The day calls attention to hate crimes against sex workers worldwide. Also, it is a call to end the social stigma and discrimination that have contributed to violence against sex workers.

The red umbrella

The red umbrella is an important symbol for sex worker rights. The symbol was first used by sex workers in Venice, Italy in 2001. In 2005, the International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe adopted the red umbrella as a symbol of resistance to discrimination and poor working conditions.


Shift Calgary

Sex workers have the right to health and safety and to be treated with respect. Shift supports the decriminalization of prostitution as an evidence-based way of effectively reducing stigma, discrimination, and violence towards sex workers. Read more

Using a harm reduction and human rights based approach, Shift provides support, outreach, education and advocacy services for adults of all genders currently or formerly working in the sex industry, or who identify as victims of human trafficking or exploitation. The program also serves the greater Calgary community as a resource for vulnerable and at-risk populations, as well as social and health care service providers, law enforcement, researchers, advocacy groups, the media, and the general public.

Shift Calgary is organizing a sex worker-only event on December  17. Please give us a call at (403) 237-8171 or email us at for more info.