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15/11/2012 - Guatemala

Workshop on Political Positioning

In October, Guatemalan organization OMES organized a workshop to strengthen the empowerment of female sex workers.

For one day the fellows worked to build their position against laws that violate sex work and discussed the need for a law recognizing this activity.

According to the referents of the organization member of RedTraSex, in Guatemala there are many women engaged in sex work through personal choice, but "society plays an important role in positioning, because its double standard do not lets us focus on the exercise of human rights as such, and do not respect the free choice of sex work equally to other work as stated in the Constitution of Guatemala", they argue from OMES.

From the Guatemalan organization notes that not only society penalizes and criminalizes female sex workers, but also health multipliers, public servants and educators, among others. "The political positioning that we want to build from OMES is based not only on public policies, laws and regulations, but also in visualizing the anomalies existing in various stages of sex work", say the fellows.

"How I feel with what I do? or How I call what I do?" During the workshop the female leaders worked on their identities as women, mothers and household pillars to recognize themselves as subjects of law. "Although the fellows know that sex work is not a crime, some do not have the political positioning of discussing, of acting against stigma and discrimination. Many know their rights and obligations, but are afraid to claim for them", remarked from the organization.

Laws that criminalize us

Even though sex work is not defined by the regulations for the control of sexually transmitted diseases, health centers in the area of prophylaxis not do their job properly. Moreover, fellows from OMES explain: "the current law against sexual violence and trafficking (9-2009) has been interpreted in order to criminalize sex work, because it is not differentiated between prostitution and sex work. This label female sex workers, and thus their human rights are violated".

Development of the fundamental axes

"Without a clear political positioning as female sex workers we cannot discuss, act or demand respect. This workshop allowed us to think of the laws that oppress us in our identity as female sex workers and allowed us to understand that our problems are not individual but collective, political and of human rights, and the only way to resolve them is through a law that recognizes our work", workshop participants held at the end of it.