Human rights facing HIV / AIDS, our rights



Demands of female sex workers in Latin
America and the Caribbean on Sex Work and

Sex workers women are not a vulnerable group to HIV /
AIDS: They make us vulnerable …

• with repressive policies that criminalize us, leaving us in a weak position to negotiate the use of condoms,

• with repressive policies that criminalize us, leaving us in a weak position to negotiate the use of condoms,

• with governments that implement laws that criminalise our right to self-employment: for example enforcing legislation against human tra-cking that violates labor rights of those who choose to be sex workers and are not tra-cked..

• with health-control policies that violate the basic right to con-dentiality of test results.

• with research that make us objects of study, instead of recognizing us as subjects of rights,

• with governments who care more about HIV / AIDS prevalence in sex workers than the murders and violence against women

• with a -erce competition for funds that fails to reach sex workers and have a real impact

• with stigmatizing messages that isolate us from the rest of society and lower our self-esteem by associate ourselves with the term «focus of infection. »

Sex workers women are not the problem,
we are part of the solution

We, the members of the Network of Sex Workers in Latin America and the Caribbean, with representation in 15 countries in the region, participate
in the High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on HIV / AIDS in New York to bring the international agencies and governments of the world the reality that we, the female sex workers, live in our countries.

The claims that we raise in this document are the product of the National Consultation on Sex Work and HIV / AIDS Round that we promote in all countries of the region for governments to identify the human rights
situation, violence and access to health of the sex workers. Make this round was a commitment assumed by governments in the Regional Consultation
“Sex Work and HIV / AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean”
held in Lima, Peru, from 26 to 28 February 2007. However,
only Argentina, Peru and Brazil have ful-lled with this
agreement since then

On the agendas of most governments in Latin America and the Caribbean, there are no actions or budgets to combat HIV / AIDS. Everything seems to turn around the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria funding. It is necessary to return to the issue seriously from each country or we will lose the progress we have made with so much e-ort.

The UNGASS Preamble says: “We must remember that while HIV / AIDS a-ects rich and poor, the poor are more vulnerable to infection and much less able to deal with the illness once infected. » 80% of sex workers in the
region are women below the poverty line, but we say that we are not vulnerable, we have been infringed and violated by failing to recognize or respect our rights.

Therefore, our demands are:

• Right to a life without institutional violence

• Derogation of all laws that criminalize sex workers and provide legal protection to the violence.

• Stop the violence and death situations towards sex workers.

• We say No to the impunity of the crimes. From our organizations we are committed to denounce and to make documents about each sex worker murdered.

• To government We demand clari-cation and convictions.

• Training police, security guards and watchmen in human rights issues, discrimination, and nonpunitive legislation.

• The right to an integral health care Elimination of the requirement of the health card for the exercise of sex work, because it violates the constitutional right to con-dentiality of HIV testing.

• Voluntary, free and con-dential detection test, with pre and post test counciling, as international protocols indicate.

• Universal access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and quality care on HIV / AIDS.

• Access to health care to the mobile and migrant sex workers, particularly in border zones.

• Friendly integrated health services: opportune, humanized, of quality and pertinent.

• Promoting condom use for the general public and clients on particular.

• Right to a life without fundamentalism

• Defense of secular States to prevent HIV with the only usefull and universal prevention method: the use of Condoms

•Constructing messages that help to reduce stigma and discrimination against sex workers.

• Right to a life without gender inequality

• Promote gender equality as a central part of policies on HIV / AIDS, because the lack of autonomy of women is the main cause that AIDS is becoming more and more young, poor and with female face.

• Right to organize ourselves from our identity

• Legal recognition by States to based organizations of sex workers, recognizing that we make a contribution to the community.

• Support from funding agencies to our organizations, in order to make direct actions on HIV prevention and also organizational strengthening, since was proven that the most e-ective way of addressing HIV among sex workers with a comprehensive view is from strong based organizations.

To conclude we want to say:

We need a response to the epidemic that understands the care as something more than sex and condom use. It is not a matter of personal responsibility of each sex worker, but rather collective and of state policies. To advance a response to HIV / AIDS We do not claim nothing less than the basics: the recognition of sex workers as subjects of rights. Human rights are also the
rights of sex workers..

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