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Bajan sex workers urged to join body

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Bajan sex workers urged to join body

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A CARIBBEAN WOMEN’S activist wants Barbadian “sex workers” to join a regional body which will represent their interests and concerns.

Guyanese Miriam Edwards, chairperson of the Caribbean Sex Work Coalition, said she has been trying to encourage locals who are involved with prostitution to be part of the regional association, which is staging a four-day Caribbean workshop for sex workers, to be held in Guyana from October 20.

“We have a lot of sex workers who come to Barbados from Guyana to do their work and they are mostly members of the coalition. I will be happy to have the Bajan girls onboard too ’cause it’s important for them to be heard with one voice,” she told the SATURDAY SUN by telephone on Thursday.

According to Edwards, sex workers are already booked to attend the workshop, coming from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Suriname, Grenada, Antigua and the Dominican Republic.

She said among the matters to be discussed would be the rights of the sex worker in their respective countries as well as a canvass to legitimise the business.

Edwards, who is also executive director of the coalition’s local branch, said there is an on-going campaign in Guyana urging the government to decriminalise “sex work”.

“Sex work is an old profession and don’t matter how, you can’t stop sex work. The most that could happen is that you could send it underground and that is very dangerous, given the many things happening in the world today,” she noted.

Edwards, who indicated she had retired from the sex trade 15 years ago, said the upcoming workshop will also deal with issues pertaining to HIV/AIDs and human trafficking, among other things.

“We have to be very careful when we talk about human trafficking because a lot of the time people link human trafficking with sex work. It’s an attempt to violate and have something against sex workers,” she contended.

“A lot of people don’t understand the difference between sex work and human trafficking,” she added. (TS)