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15/08/2012 - Bolivia

Jobs at risk

Due to the closing of night clubs, ONAEM members met with the Ombudsman, officials and police representatives to defend labor rights of female sex workers.

During the meeting, activities and joint operations between the authorities and sex workers were proposed to avoid infringement of their rights and, instead, make visible the working conditions of the Bolivian fellows in the city of Oruro.

"The night clubs were closed due to lack of tax payments by the owners thereof, an action that damage our fellows", explained from ONAEM. That’s why the members of the organization proposed that the debts can be paid off in monthly fees to avoid unemployment of thousands of breadwinner women.

During their meeting, the authorities made a commitment to support female sex workers in any of their demands.

The situation of the fellows in Oruro is complicated, explained from ONAEM, "regarding health issues, they have a small space which does not have the necessary conditions for its functioning and quality care, while there are violations of municipal institutions in so-called ’raids’ during compulsive control".

The situation faced by female sex workers in Oruro highlights the importance of the recognition of sex work as work, and those who exercise it can enjoy the same rights as other workers.

The organization of the fellows in the defense of freedom of work and against police violence is essential and necessary, but requires government policies that support and work in the defense of their rights. Only then a better future can be reached for all, male and female sex workers.