Who do you work with?:
We work with sex workers who belong to 'vulnerable' social groups such as women migrants escaping from rural areas where the armed conflict is especially rampant, transgender women, young women, women of ethnic and/or racial minorities and women escaping from domestic violence and abuse. They are street sex workers located in three specific areas down-town Bogota.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
Sex workers participate in our organisation as peer leaders that work and fight against injustices within their community. Jointly we have led initiatives against police harassment, visibilisation campaigns, and social cartography encounters using a Participatory Action Research (PAR) frame that seeks to empower sex workers.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Oppose the criminalisation and other legal oppression of sex work and support its recognition as work
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Oppose human rights abuses, including coercive programming, mandatory testing, raids and forced rehabilitation
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
Sex Workers with whom we work with belong to 'vulnerable' social groups such as women migrants escaping from rural areas where the armed conflict is especially rampant, transgender women, young women, women of ethnic and/or racial minorities and women escaping from domestic violence and abuse. Along with the stigma associated with their line of work, these socio-economic conditions further impede their access to basic human rights, health services and additional social protective systems.
Describe other areas of your work:
Our campaigns and social initiatives aim at social inclusion and effect change on political level through critical social inclusion praxis. In Colombia, there is no reliable data on the sex work population. Accordingly, P.A.R.C.E.S. NGO aims to gather data through participatory methods that can be used to lobby public policies affecting sex workers' living and working conditions.