On the 26th of May, 2016 in Machala, Ecuador a meeting took place with the Governor, local authorities, brothel owners, leaders of the Asociación 22 de Junio, Flor de Azalea, PLAPERTS Ecuador and 80 female sex workers. There was a protest to reject the new schedule for the tolerance zones for sex work. The proposed schedule would only allow for sex work to occur from Monday to Saturday from 11:00 to 20:00.
Regional updates: Latin America
Sex work in Peru is not a crime, but sex workers are often treated as criminals. Ana Mamani and Norma Diaz from Arequipa, Peru share their struggle to combat the conflation between sex work and human trafficking with NSWP’s Latin America Regional Correspondent.
In Mexico, sex work is considered a public health problem because it is associated with the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Due to this, health regulation is based on reducing or eliminating the effects of sex work on the general population, through mandatory health checks and sanitary control. This comes at a high economic cost for sex workers and violates their human rights.
The Latin American Platform of Sex Workers (PLAPERTS) is shocked by the murder of their colleague Angelica Miriam Quintanilla, who was Director of LIQUIDAMBAR, a sex worker-led organisation in El Salvador. In March 2016, sex workers from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru received the news that LIQUIDAMBAR wanted to join PLAPERTS. Just as quickly, PLAPERTS received news of her murder. The image above shows LIQUIDAMBAR at a protest with PLAPERTS. Angelica is to the far left.
The municipality of Lima, in collaboration with the National Police of Peru (PNP), the Research Crime Administration (DIRINCRI, as it is known is Spanish) as well as those in charge of the Human Trafficking Division, conduct frequent operations that result in the closure of bars, clubs, pubs, and inns where sex workers work.
Ángela Villón, a 50-year-old woman, a sex worker, a mother and active advocate for the rights of sex workers, ran for Congress and lost on the 10th of April, 2016. Despite loosing, she decided to support her running mate Veronica Mendoza from the Frente Amplio party. Veronica Mendoza also supports sex workers’ rights and works with Ángela Villón. Veronica Mendoza is running for president, and the vote will take place on the 5th of June, 2016.
In Mexico, there is a conflation between human trafficking and sex work. Sex work stigmatised, and sex workers experience marginalisation and discrimination, which violates their human rights. Addressing these issues has required raising awareness within various segments of society.
NSWP member APROASE warned Mexicans about the negative impact that the Law Against Human Trafficking would have on both the recognition of sex work as work and on the human rights of sex workers.
La Red Global de de Proyectos de trabajo Sexual (NSWP por sus siglas en ingles) Con el fin de desarrollar y mantener una sección latinoamericana de su portal web, donde se podrán Conocer las propuestas y actividades de “La Plataforma Latinoamérica de Personas que Ejercen el Trabajo Sexual” (PLAPERTS) CAPÍTULO ECUADOR y de sus redes y organizaciones de América Latina, creando así un espacio donde puedan compartir recursos de toda la región.
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) hosts the new website of PLAPERTS, the Latin American platform of sex workers people, and its networks and organisations in Latin America, creating a space to share resources across the region.
The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) stands by Human Rights Defender Alejandra Gil and Amnesty International’s decision to adopt a policy to protect the human rights of sex workers, including the full decriminalisation of sex work.