C’bean sex workers: Review the laws, legalise our trade

LEGITIMISATION of sex workers was among one of the many requests made of Caribbean countries on Wednesday, during the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities’s (CVCs) Caribbean Sex Worker Coalition work plan meeting at Ambassador Hotel, Long Circular Road, St. James.

The CVC believes that a review of laws related to the sex trade would greatly reduce incidents of HIV infection and exploitation among sex workers.

“Once sex work has to take place in the shadows, they are open to exploitation and are forced to take these risks,” said Robert Carr, executive director of the CVC.

Carr said in countries that held more amicable laws towards the sex trade, cases of exploitation were significantly lessened.

The work plan meeting was attended by sex workers from various Caribbean countries, including Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

The workers shared the experiences and challenges in their various countries. Among the sex workers were transsexuals and male prostitutes.

It was the third meeting of the Caribbean Sex Worker Coalition, following meetings in Antigua and the Dominican Republic.

Carr called for Caribbean societies to be more tolerant of sex workers, stating that even if their moral choices may differ, “they are still human”.

“You judge a society by the way they treat people they disagree with,” Carr said.

Other suggestions made by the coalition included sensitivity training for law enforcement officers and media officials with regards towards the sex trade, and a change of legislation concerning same sex relationships.

The three-day conference ended Wednesday.



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