The Red Van: Copenhagen’s only mobile-run organization for sex workers

Written by: Natalia Chairez

The Red Van is a non-profit NGO based in Copenhagen from 2016 that focuses on the safety and comfort of street-based sex workers on the streets of Vesterbro, specifically Istedgade. It serves as a protection unit for women who lack the resources for themselves and their work in order to provide for themselves. 

Picture taken at the Red Van event on the 8th of March. Photo credits: Natalia Chairez

It all started with an ambulance by a man named Michael and his group called Fixelancen, who was also the founder of one of the biggest drug consumption rooms in Copenhagen.

Later, the van evolved into a red van with the group’s now iconic logo, which is now the group’s vessel for their night shifts today and their main source of providing for sex workers in Vestergade. Their goals are to provide a safe space for women in the sex industry through more secure working conditions and actively advocate for the rights of women.

Board member and volunteer, Charlotte, spoke about TRV’s night shift system and how it’s come a long way for women.

“We go out on night shifts on Fridays and Saturdays from about 12 a.m. to 4 a.m.,” Charlotte said. “We stock the van with condoms and garbage vans making sure everything is sanitized and de-escalates harassment.”

Today, The Red Van is active in the streets of Vesterbro and just held an open-van event showing the inside of the van and welcoming in new volunteers.

Infographic credits: Mara Maris