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9/08/2012 - Argentina

"We are delivered to the mafia"

A law would confirm the hypocrisy and double standards of the legislators of RíoNegro.

The Asociación de Mujeres Meretrices de la Argentina expressed their rejection to the law project that will be approved tomorrow that is supposed to combat human trafficking in the province of Río Negro.

This law would criminalize women that practice sex work, when in fact there are plenty of mechanisms to combat human trafficking in the criminal code. Such laws collaborate to further underground our situation, pushing us to have to work on unequal terms with networks that will “give us protection”.

Representatives of the national leadership of A.M.M.A.R. and fellows of the province had yesterday a meeting with the legislators who pushed this project to express our concern about this measure. A.M.M.A.R. expressed the need to guarantee the respect of our right to decide on our own body and life plan, and that they should not legislate on moral behavior.

If they really do not want to violate the rights of autonomous sex workers, legislators who claim to work for human rights should clarify in their anti-trafficking projects that there are also adults who willingly opt for this activity and, regardless of the anti-trafficking campaigns, it is necessary to protect their rights.

On our side, we want to make clear that when we demand more rights for our people, we are not demanding a sewing machine, nor did we seek alternative employment: we are sex workers and we recognize ourselves as sex workers, so we want to be recognized and respected just like that.

The former president of Argentina, Néstor Kirchner, set a precedent in recognizing our sector with the Decree 10806/2005 which approves the National Plan against Discrimination in Argentina, in its Article 17: "Repeal articles of all Provincial and Municipal Codes with “open” contraventional figures (lack of morality, scandal in public places, marauding, prostitution, etc.) that allow the police to make arrests without prior judicial intervention" and Article 18: "To promote the sanction of a law aimed at protect female sex workers, recognizing their right to pension and social security".

Like the rest of the population, we fight to end with traffickers, but we also demand do not mix our work with this crime and not to victimize those who are not trafficked. We struggle for an end to sexual exploitation, and the enemy showed his impunity, as these fights have cost us the life of our fellow Sandra Cabrera. We have not been silenced yet, as we fight convinced that what we claim is our right.

From A.M.M.A.R. we demand truly pursue of pimps and traffickers, which could not exist without the complicity of police, political and judicial power, and applying the existing laws.

Press contacts:
Elena Reynaga, Founder of A.M.M.A.R.: (011)15-4421-2201
Georgina Orellano, A.M.M.A.R. Capital Deputy Secretary: (011)15-5317-7464