Posts tagged ‘Barbados’

Don’t expect Barbados to be legalising prostitution.

Fair treatment for sex workers

Claudette Kay and Miriam Edwards want sex workers in the region to be treated fairly. (Kenmore Bynoe)

Sex workers in the Caribbean want to be treated fairly and given the same respect as other people involved in demanding professions.

Miriam Edwards, president of the Caribbean Sex Work Coalition, Kay Forte of Guyana and Claudette Johnson of Jamaica, as well as Ivan Cruickshank of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition made the call at the closing ceremony of the Sex Work And HIV TechnicalWorking Group meeting put on by UNAIDS.

Edwards says her organisation, which had members in 13 Caribbean countries, is battling for sex workers’ voices to be heard in order for the legal framework to be instituted for such them to obtain the medical and other necessary services.

“We need to accept sex workers as human beings and we want the same level of treatment and service when we come forward as anyone else,” Edwards says. she also warns that it is pointless setting up programmes for a few sex workers and prefacing the offer with the command that they must give up their profession in order to get funding for education or skills training.

The trio later met with Minister of Health Donville Inniss, who had earlier delivered the closing address at the session. “It is not for me to deliberate on the morality or illegality of sex work in the Caribbean, but rather it is for me to face reality. We will not, certainly at the policy level, move ahead if we start by operating with any stigma attached to the issue of sex workers or if we start to bring our own prejudices to the table and bury our heads in the sand and pretend that such a thing does not exist. In addition, the increased risk of HIV transmission which may be found in some informal and formal sex work contexts heightens the need to take definitive steps to reduce the risk of transmission in these settings,” Inniss adds.

BUT  DON”T EXPECT BARBADOS TO BE LEGALISING PROSTITUTION : What the Minister said

By Tracy Moore |

 Minister of Health Donville Inniss stated this on Wednesday at a top-level regional meeting on HIV/AIDS at Hilton Barbados. Inniss said that legalising prostitution in Barbados would not be one of those laws to be modernised on our statute books any time soon. “The issue of legalising prostitution would always be a heated one, filled with emotion and sometimes a lack of objectivity,” he said. “If the goal is for sex workers to have access to health care, systems are already in place that work and allow them access to health care. “When you go to a doctor’s office or a Barbados polyclinic or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, I do not know that you are discriminated against or that you are denied access to health care if you indicate that you are a sex worker,” he said. He added, “What we may want to debate is the issue of not discriminating against people based on their perceived sexual orientation or perceived sexual practice as a profession. I think we need to be a lot more all-embracing. “That does not mean that we have to drop our moral guards and say that all of these things are to be accepted. I am not promoting homosexuality or prostitution. I am simply saying that we have to have a more open mind and accept that not all of us are the same,” he said.

The two-day meeting was held by the United States-Caribbean Partnership Framework for HIV/AIDS as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR). On the second day of discussions, United States Global AIDS co-ordinator and adviser to President Barack Obama, Ambassador Eric Goosby, told the SATURDAY SUN that accessibility and eliminating stigmatisation were better weapons against HIV/AIDS than legalising prostitution. He said judgement and stigmatisation caused more fear in those who needed access to medical care. Minister of Health Donville Inniss stated this on Wednesday at a top-level regional meeting on HIV/AIDS at Hilton Barbados. Inniss said that legalising prostitution in Barbados would not be one of those laws to be modernised on our statute books any time soon. “The issue of legalising prostitution would always be a heated one, filled with emotion and sometimes a lack of objectivity,” he said. “If the goal is for sex workers to have access to health care, systems are already in place that work and allow them access to health care. “When you go to a doctor’s office or a Barbados polyclinic or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, I do not know that you are discriminated against or that you are denied access to health care if you indicate that you are a sex worker,” he said. He added, “What we may want to debate is the issue of not discriminating against people based on their perceived sexual orientation or perceived sexual practice as a profession. I think we need to be a lot more all-embracing. “That does not mean that we have to drop our moral guards and say that all of these things are to be accepted. I am not promoting homosexuality or prostitution. I am simply saying that we have to have a more open mind and accept that not all of us are the same,” he said. The two-day meeting was held by the United States-Caribbean Partnership Framework for HIV/AIDS as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR). On the second day of discussions, United States Global AIDS co-ordinator and adviser to President Barack Obama, Ambassador Eric Goosby, told the SATURDAY SUN that accessibility and eliminating stigmatisation were better weapons against HIV/AIDS than legalising prostitution. He said judgement and stigmatisation caused more fear  in those who needed access to medical care.

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20/01/2011 at 02:49 Leave a comment


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