rights of sex workers
H. Flores Elguera
Asociaciación de Trabajadoras Sexuales Woman del Callao, Callao, Peru
Description: We were tired of violent
police interventions in our local "The Trocadero", legendary and
historic brothel, the largest in Peru. The Police and the Municipality of Callao
entered and beat us like hitting a man fist, with the purpose of closing the
local. We locked ourselves to avoid being thrown out of our workplace. The
reason to close it was administrative, tax debt. It was the most vile and
violent art to undermine our rights. We used common pot of meal to survive
within the brothel and could not pass regular medical attention by being locked
up, expose to sexually transmitted diseases. Tired of the abuse of authority we
were organized and filed a lawsuit to the mayor of Callao. We testify before the
authorities about the abuse and the humiliation of which we were subjects.
This trial lasted 7 months, we stated that sex work is not a crime, that sex
workers have rights and that these are written in the Peruvian Constitution and
the international conventions that Peru subscribed.
Lessons learned: The situation of abuse makes us think and empower on
our rights, we were organized and we had our first training of rights and
prevention of STI, HIV and AIDS. Besides we win the trial and the police never
enter in the brothel.
Next steps: From that moment it was agreed a schedule
of payment of taxes that the local. Under any circumstances the debts had to be
ground for repression, recognizing our right to pursue our work without
violence. Since that time we are conducting information campaigns, authorities'
sensitization, empowerment of rights and health prevention.
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