Country, Date of election
Czech Republic 1995
Hana Malinová is combating the spread of HIV and other STDs among prostitutes in the Czech Republic. She has opened a counseling center that provides a wide range of services for these women and men, and is working to reintegrate them into mainstream society through the creative use of community theater.
After 1989, in the Czech Republic and in Central Europe as a whole, there was a dramatic increase in the number of people employed in the sex industry. This trend was followed by the rapid spread of HIV, drug abuse, violence and abuse against women. Nevertheless open discussion about prostitution and its implications is still considered to be a taboo topic in our society. Society does not accept sex workers as equals, which results in their social exclusion; a country’s attitude towards prostitution tells us much about the prevailing condition of democracy in any particular country. According to Hana, the root of the problem is to be found in people’s relationships with each other, their attitude towards themselves and others and is also due to high levels of egocentricity and lack of tolerance.
R-R has existed for 22 years with branches in Prague, České Budějovice, and Brno. There are ten teams working in 12 regions. They operate a mobile venereal – gynecological ambulance. There are 3000 people tested every year, and hundreds treated for STDs. Working teams prioritize prevention. They have discouraged thousands of people from risky sexual practices by educating them on how to protect himself or herself while performing anomalous sexual practices. The Organization forges relationships with about 10.000 sexual workers. As a result these contact the Organization directly and take personal responsibility for testing at regular intervals . Based on its vast experience in the field, R-R is also able to influence legislation regarding the regulation of prostitution. The Organization is working together with similar initiatives in the Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Homeless people encouraged to perform on stage in theatre productions together with sex workers have begun to be more attentive to personal hygiene and were able to find jobs.
The ROZKOŠ bez RIZIKA (R-R) Organization was founded by Hana 22 years ago. It focuses on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and on reducing the negative social effects associated with prostitution. The Organization helps women in the sex industry to gain a realistic perspective on their lives and find their own solutions through psychotherapy, counselling, employment options and theatrical performances. R-R also works closely with the public in areas concerning prevention and enlightenment.
Hana’s goal is to decrease and stabilize the occurrence of HIV and other STDs and improve the status of sex workers in society, in the workplace and in their personal relationships. R-R is striving, together with homeless people and sex workers, to find the right path.; a path that they not only could take but also want to take.
Hana enhances her own life by making other people’s lives better. Her motivation is to find a place for everyone in our society, so that nobody should be “thrown overboard”.