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24/08/2012 - Bolivia

Against racism and discrimination

ONAEM is part of the Committee against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination (Comité de Lucha contra el Racismo y Toda Forma de Discriminación) that will oversee the implementation of Law Nº45, which aims to eliminate racism in Bolivia.

The Ministry of Decolonization invited several institutions —public institutions, social organizations of indigenous peoples, of specific populations and of human rights that were part of the drafting of the law— to participate in the creation of the Committee against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination.

Within the so-called “specific populations”, the ONAEM was summoned along with other organizations. "We believe ONAEM can become more visible, and that other organizations and institutions can see that there is an organization of female sex workers in the country, and that they have a space for their complaints about acts of racism or discrimination: the space that our fellows are claiming for", said Evelia Yucra Asillo, president of ONAEM, organization member of RedTraSex.

In a first instance of the committee’s work, offices will be placed in every city where people can complain against discriminatory situations. These will be called "Permanent Councils of the Committee against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination" and will be responsible for receiving and responding to complaints.

Among the responsibilities of the Councils will be the implementation of prevention policies, the inclusion of the subject in the curriculum of the study houses and recording and tracking of complaints.

Within the text of the Law significant progress in human rights has been made and historical vindication of female sex workers in Bolivia and the region. In its first article, the purpose of the Law is defined: "to eliminate racism and all forms of discrimination, and strengthen public policies of protection and prevention of crimes due to racism and all forms of discrimination" in the defense of all Bolivians —natives or nationalized— and every inhabitant in national territory that is under the jurisdiction of the State.

RedTraSex works with all member organizations for the recognition of female sex workers as subjects who are able to discuss and propose alternatives to the complex situations they are daily exposed. It’s a job that means breaking with institutional, social and academic exclusion, and it demands to speak with our own voices.

In this sense, the organization and advocacy work of fellows from ONAEM is a victory in the defense of the rights of the female sex workers. Being included and consulted for the development and implementation of public policies is a good starting point to respond to the real and specific needs of female sex workers.