Veteran sex worker rights activist and human rights defender, Alejandra Gil has been in custody on remand for charges related to Human Trafficking. The prosecution is still looking for evidence while finalising their case and all the while it is not certain when the final judgement will be reached by the Court in Mexico. The laws under which Alejandra are charged conflate human trafficking with sex work. Alejandra is one of a large number of women currently incarcerated in prisons all over Mexico under these new laws.
Gabriela Leite was compelled as an activist for the rights of prostitutes for her entire life by two issues: confronting stigma, and combatting discrimination and violations of human rights. The slogan of the First National Gathering of Prostitutes, which Gabriela organized in 1987, sums up her principal strategy: “Speak, woman of ‘the life’” (Fala, mulher da vida).
In September 2013, several colleagues and I created the Toulouse branch of STRASS. We started discussing this possibility as the debate about criminalisation of clients was intensifying. For all the good words and promises of abolitionists, we knew that the criminalisation of clients would be just another brick in the wall of our oppression: fines, arrests, deportations would not stop… only now; some of our clients would be fined too. That’s Swedish Progress for you!