Presentation on theme: "Empowering and Organising Sex Workers towards Achieving and Maintaining Progressive Self- Development and Increased HIV Preventative Actions."— Presentation transcript:
Empowering and Organising Sex Workers towards Achieving and Maintaining Progressive Self- Development and Increased HIV Preventative Actions.
Welcome to this session on Empowering and organizing sex workers : a group that faces label and discrimination. Introduction of Panel Members from the GSWC Miriam Edwards, Quincy Mc Ewan and Kushyan Lyken.
Quincy Mc Ewan – Peer Educator, member of the Caribbean Sex Work Coalition (CSWC)
Sex work in Guyana is illegal; Stigma and Discrimination by law enforcement officials, health care providers and wider society; Police harassment and brutality; Denial of access to effective health care services;
Kushyan Lyken – Social Worker
On the 11 th October, 2008 the GSWC was formed. It was formed as an entity advocating for the human rights of sex workers, inclusive of males, females and transgender. It was a sex worker led mapping initiative by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC).
Our mission as an NGO is to collaborate, co-operate and educate sex workers through meaningful interventions in a humane process to empower them in accessing services provided.
A 24hours Safe Space; The services of a Social Worker; Workshops and sensitization sessions on the Human rights of sex workers with law enforcement officials, health care officials, clients of sex workers, hotel, brothel and bar owners; Empowerment and capacity building for sex workers, women and girls such as training in Micro Computer studies, cosmetology and costume design.
HIV/AIDS testing and screening in collaboration with the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS) in Georgetown and rural communities; Distribution of brochures and pamphlets to Health centers, business places, hotels, brothels and the general population. Distribution of condoms (male &female) in Georgetown and rural areas.
Establishment of a 24 hours safe space for sex workers; Conducted Empowerment and capacity building workshops for sex workers in all 10 administrative regions of Guyana; Annual March to end Violence against Sex Workers ; Sensitization Training of Law Enforcement Officers and Health Care Professionals;
Sensitization Training with Trans sex workers; Empowerment sessions with barbers and hair dressers; Mobile HIV testing in rural communities; Advocacy on radio, TV and newspapers.
Miriam Edwards- Executive Director GSWC, Co- Chair of the Caribbean Sex Work Coalition, Winner of the Juanita Altenburg Award of Excellence 2010
The perception that sex workers are the persons responsible for the spread of HIV; The importance of empowering and organizing of sex workers ; The continued stream of stigma and discrimination that sex workers encounter on a daily basis by the Police, health care providers and wider society; The challenges that migrant (country to country)sex workers encounter by immigration and health care providers;
Sex work should be legalized ; Increase sex work involvement and control over their working and social conditions; Implementation of 100 % condom programme; Involvement of sex workers in prevention campaigns; Building the capacity of sex workers as humans and citizens as a successful strategy in preventing the spread of HIV;
More funding should be given towards programmes for HIV and sex work ; since less than 1% of global funds are geared towards these programmes.