Caribbean Sex Workers Demand Equal Rights

Though prostitution in many Caribbean states remains illegal, support groups and sex workers organizations have been rising up across the region and have been working close with civil society and international groups. The Caribbean Sex Workers Coalition met at the end of August to discuss constitutional rights, fair working conditions, health care, education, and respect:

At the Montego Bay meeting, the members of the Caribbean Sex Workers Coalition declared that “sex work is work and must be recognized and treated en par with other professions where labour conditions are just.”

The group has also thrown out a call for the decriminalization of sex work. They also pointed out that sex workers have the same human rights and duties as all other people and they ought to be respected at all times since they value themselves like everyone else in society, with equal rights and justice.

The group is calling for the rights of sex workers to also be respected and is demanding that sex workers be allowed equal opportunity rights to work, to health care, education, food and shelter and retirement benefits.

The group has also released a number of other demands of Caribbean governments which includes:

“Respect and protect human and constitutional rights and create legislation, policies and practices which effectively protect these human rights. Respect our right to livelihood and freedom to work Respect our right to freedom of movement and migration Provide non-discriminatory health and social services and:

• Ensure the Ministry of Health, the National AIDS Program, and other agencies recognize the different sub-populations of sex workers and design programs that respond to their needs.

• Partner with and train health care workers to effectively provide services for sex workers, including unconventional health services, such as mobile clinics.

• Ensure that sex workers are not subjected to compulsory HIV testing by employers.”

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