UTSOPI is an organisation run by sex workers, this implies 3 basic principles:
- Only (former) sex workers workers can join and become members of UTSOPI
- Our Board is made up exclusively of (former) sex workers and is elected by the members
- The UTSOPI team is made up of sex workers and allies. Our organisation strives to have at least 50% sex workers employees in its team. When recruiting, priority is always given to qualified candidates with experience in sex work
UTSOPI, as an extension and spokesperson for the sex workers' community in Belgium, facilitates actions emanating from the community. The needs and demands expressed by the community are taken up by UTSOPI at political level.
You can contact:
- Daan (Dutch, English, French): email@example.com, 0472 25 64 26.
- Marianne (English, French), firstname.lastname@example.org, 0470 38 21 56.
We often receive requests for a testimony from a sex worker. This is usually not possible because there are too many disadvantages to media visibility for the person concerned. Few sex workers are willing to tell their stories openly. Most prefer to remain anonymous to protect themselves and their close ones.
If you wish to volunteer at UTSOPI as a non-sex worker, it is possible. In particular, we are always looking for people who can translate and have experience in graphic design. If you wish to volunteer at events, that is also possible. Just send us an e-mail with a short presentation of yourself and your qualities to email@example.com.
It is also possible to do an internship at UTSOPI. Every semester we open two internships. For internships, as for recruitment, priority is always given to candidates with experience in or with sex work. Please note that our organisation does not employ social assistants. If it is a requirement of your educational institution that you are supervised by a social assistant, this is not possible with us.
Applications for an internship must be made no later than six months before the start of the internship.
Our organisation is often approached by journalists, students, artists and organisations seeking expertise for their (preliminary) research. It is very important to us that sex work is approached with the right sensitivity and nuance.
Staff at UTSOPI can often already answer some of the questions or, if necessary, refer them to people with extensive knowledge about the history, development and current state of sex work in Belgium.
To avoid unnecessarily burdening the time and energy of our community, we always ask for a clear set of questions before we further respond to requests to engage with sex workers. What research questions are involved? What is the duration of the collaboration? In what way will interviews be anonymised? Will compensation be provided?
If you have answers to these questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We guarantee your anonymity every time you communicate with a member of our team. Even when you contact us, you are not obliged to reveal your identity. You can reach us via email using a pseudonym. Similarly, when you service us by phone, it is not necessary to communicate your real name to us. It is also possible to make an appointment with a member of our team at a neutral location, if you do not wish to be seen around our offices.
If we know your identity, personal information will always be kept within our team. The entire UTSOPI team is bound by professional confidentiality.
UTSOPI Board and Membership
UTSOPI is governed by a Board of Directors who are all (former) sex workers. The Board convenes monthly and takes decisions on organizational strategy, finances and personnel.
Membership of UTSOPI
We propose two different forms of membership: you can become a supporting member or an active member. When you become a member, it implies that you support the mission and vision of our organisation.
Join the mailing list and receive news, organization updates and invitations to manifestations, informal meetings, workshops and task forces.
- Are expected to take an active role in organizing events.
- Can be asked to represent the organization occasionally at events.
- Can be referred to by UTSOPI at the request of journalists, writers and film makers.
- Are expected, if possible, to take an active role in responding to legal or administrative questions from other sex workers.
- Can be asked to read and check organization documents before publication.
- Are expected to be present at the General Assembly of the organization, where the annual report anAd the financial report are voted and where the new Board is elected. Active members have voting rights in our organization.
- Can be candidates for the Board.
- Can propose activities and get organizational, financial or other support in carrying them out, if the organisation's resources allow it.