Statement On The Death Of Galina Sandeva

We at SWAI send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Galina Sandeva, a 28 year old Bulgarian woman working as a sex worker in Oslo. She was found brutally murdered yesterday alone in a carpark, on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. We find it significant to mention that when she went missing on Wednesday, her friends did not go to the police but went looking for her themselves, only calling the police when they found her body. Norway implemented the “Swedish Model” in 2009. This law criminalises the purchase of sex and has been shown to cut off communication between sex workers and the police. Ireland is set to bring in the same law here and now via Section 20 of the Sexual Offences Bill. We are deeply concerned about the effect this legislation will have on workers trying to protect themselves. We are deeply concerned about the stigma promoted by the “Swedish Model” and the effect it has on how sex workers are treated. We promise to fight against this stigma and to fight for legislation to keep our community safe. Thank you to all who came out yesterday to the Candlelight Vigil to honor these very human beings. This brings even more clarity to the importance of us all standing together to speak out against Section 20, and against sex worker stigma, to prevent such horrific tragedies. RIP Galina