Gemma Sciré

CEO Basis

Wed 31 October, Quad Cinema, Derby 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Gemma has worked in both the public sector (incl. local authorities, mental health trusts) and third sector for 24 years, specialising with work with marginalised groups. She is currently CEO at Basis Yorkshire, an award winning charity who have been working with women sex working, survivors of sexual exploitation and children sexually exploited for nearly 30 years. Gemma’s experience ranges from delivery of outreach work with vulnerable groups, to working strategically within the Strategy and Commissioning team on offending and drug treatment at Leeds City Council to managing criminal justice services and developing services on employment, health and wellbeing. She leads for the third sector on the ‘managed approach’ to sex work in Leeds and the response to child sexual exploitation. She is the Chair of the Women’s Lives Leeds consortium of 11 women’s organisations, influencing policy and strategy around gender. Gemma is passionate about the voluntary sector and women’s services particularly and the ability of the sector to work creatively to challenge exclusion, marginalisation and stigma. Gemma has an BA in Sociology and a PG Diploma in Social Policy.

Alex Etchart

Co-founder of Sex Worker’s Opera and Experimental Experience CIC

Wed 31 October, Quad Cinema, Derby 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Alex Etchart is an Anglo-Uruguayan community artist and multi-instrumentalist composer working in the UK and beyond. Raised in the South American folk tradition, Alex brings those sounds of fire and hope to contemporary social movements amplifying the voice of marginalised groups and social justice campaigns. Alongside Siobhán Knox, Alex produces the award-winning, repeat-sellout show Sex Worker's Opera which has just completed a UK tour with support from Arts Council England and PRS Foundation. The show tours to Amsterdam in July 2018 with support from Open Society Foundations to coincide with the International AIDS Conference and Amsterdam LGBTIAQ+ Pride. Alex produces wartime radio and international street theatre with members of Teatro di Nascosto living across the Middle East. Alex co-leads Sam Lee's Fire Choir at Foundling Museum alongside Blythe Pepino and Ben See.

Marjan Wijers

Trainer & consultant Rights4Change U.A.

Wed 7 November, QUAD Cinema Derby, 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Marjan Wijers works as an independent researcher, consultant and trainer on human trafficking, human rights and sex workers’ rights. Over the last years she worked, among other things, as consultant for the Netherlands Helsinki Committee in various Eastern European countries to promote the rights of trafficked persons in criminal proceedings, improve their access to legal aid and train lawyers to provide legal aid to trafficked persons. She was President of the first Experts Group on Trafficking in Human Beings, established by the European Commission, and acted as principle consultant for the Commentary of the Joint UN agencies on the 2011 EU Trafficking Directive. Being one of the pioneers of the Dutch Foundation against Trafficking in Women she was closely involved in the development of the Dutch policies on trafficking as well as in the negotiations on the UN Trafficking Protocol as part of the Human Rights Caucus, an alliance of human rights, anti-trafficking and sex workers’ rights organisations and activists. She was one of the co-organizers of the first European sex workers conference in Brussels in 2005 and one of the founders of the International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE), of which she was a board member from 2005 to 2013. Currently she is a member of the Advisory Board of Proud, the Dutch organisation of sex workers. Her research and publication record covers trafficking in human beings, the position of sex workers and of female labour migrants, data protection and mandatory registration of sex workers, secondary victimisation of crime victims, and the implementation of the EU Directives on hate crimes and trafficking in human beings. Within Rights4Change, she specialized with other gender and human rights experts in the development and application of human rights impact assessment tools in the field of human trafficking, domestic violence and health rights of women. She holds an LL.M in law (specialisation international human rights) and a M.A. in social sciences. Since October 2018 she has a position as PhD student at Essex University, focusing on human rights and sex workers’ rights.

Amber Wilson

Business Development and Marketing, Basis

Wed 7 November, Quad Cinema, Derby 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Wed 14 November, Quad Cinema, Derby 6:00pm - 8:00pm


Amber Wilson works for Basis Yorkshire, an award winning rights based charity that works with street and indoor sexworkers in Leeds, supporting young people who are sexually exploited as well as training on both topics nationally. Following experience in both the private and the third sector, Amber joined Basis in 2014. Her role focuses on fundraising and coordinating the training and communications (incl. social media and press engagement). She has played a leading role in awareness raising campaigns such as #17daysofaction in December, developed with input from service users and in close collaboration with frontline practitioners. Amber is passionate about challenging stigmatizing and non-judgemental language and balanced and safe reporting by the media and others.

Diana Blaj

Migrant Outreach Coordinator at POW

Wed 28th November, New Art Exchange 1:00pm – 4:00pm

I am a Romanian national and I have been working as a Migrant Outreach Coordinator for Pow Nottingham for 2 years. I was a teacher before and never had the chance to work with sex workers and now I look back and I find this job so rewarding , I feel that my role is much needed out there and unique in certain ways. I am the only one who provides this service in Nottingham by supporting the rights of sex workers and those at risk of being exploited. We at POW recognise and support the rights of individual sex workers to self-determination including the right to remain in sex work or leave sex work. POW aims to empower our diverse community focusing on ending violence and stigma through education, advocacy and peer support and we fully support decriminalisation of sex working.

Paschal Bagonza

Centre for LGBTQ Research, DMU, Leicester / LGBTQ Asylum Seekers and Refugees Project - Pride Without Borders

Wed 14th November, Quad cinema, Derby 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Paschal Bagonza is a Research student at De Montfort University, Centre for LGBTQ Research. His research project explores the lived and embodied experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or queer asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. Paschal also volunteers at Pride Without Borders (PWB)--a Leicester City of Sanctuary project which supports LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees in mostly Leicester city, Leicestershire and Rutland. With a media background, Paschal has contributed to an IOM project on Migration and Health in Uganda where he interviewed sex workers for the article. He is also interested in family reunion of Queer refugees

Simon Williams

Senior Lecturer, Derby University

Wed 14th November, Quad cinema, Derby 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Senior Lecturer for Youth Work and Community Development at the University of Derby, involved in teaching and preparing placements opportunities for students on the course. Simon has a background in youth and community work with new arrivals, which includes asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants. Simon has been actively involved in working with European communities in Derby, and a part of this was developing Roma Community Care the first Roma Led self-sustaining advocacy service. Simon was also involved in establishing open youth work spaces, forums and training in the city with a wide network of agencies working with new arrivals. Simon continues to research the areas of inequality and identity with new arrivals, as well as exploring the role of Youth Work and Community Development in interprofessional practice. Simon is Chair of the D2N2 Youth Work Alliance which seeks to advocate Youth Work across four counties.

Dr. Andrea Nicholson

Associate Director of the Rights Lab

Wed 28th November, New Art Exchange 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Dr. Andrea Nicholson is an Associate Director of the Rights Lab, the world's largest academic antislavery research centre housed at the University of Nottingham. Her research focuses on the narratives and antislavery ideas of survivors of slavery and human trafficking, and she works closely with government bodies and non-governmental organisations. She recently spoke at the UN, has conducted EU field research on severe labour exploitation in the UK, and undertaken ESRC-funded research on survivors' own definitions of slavery.

Rachael Tew

Community Liaison Co-Ordinator for Migrant Help in the East Midlands

Wed 28th November, New Art Exchange 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Rachael Tew is the Community Liaison Co-Ordinator for Migrant Help in the East Midlands. Migrant Help works to ensure that those who arrive in the UK receive the support and advice they need. Asylum seekers are often amongst the most vulnerable in our society and our services offer information and guidance to help them navigate through the asylum process.