Today, Miss Claudia's attention has been caught by this short film made by the Indian organisation VAMP. This opening statement caught my eye and captivated my mind:
"Over the years, we have become “commercial sex workers” from “common prostitutes”, debates are held about us and we are discussed in documents, covenants and declarations. The problem is that when we try to inform the arguments, our stories are disbelieved and we are treated as if we cannot comprehend our own lives. Thus we are either romanticised or victimised – or worse, our reality gets buried and distorted."
There are many organisations world over doing a lot of great work to empower sex workers, whether those involved in the industry be men, women, transgender (or other self-determined) people, and I am so grateful for their voices. Their voices halt the violence and begin the work in undoing negative harmful perceptions which in turn lead to negative harmful working conditions. Their voices help to stop the real 'wrong's in sex work by focussing on the 'rights' of those consenting adults involved in the work.
Today, my blog post is simply an invitation to watch this short video and consider social change led by inclusion in debate and policy, and community based group empowerment as the creators of real health and wellbeing. I was writing about this in 1999! How we can change the attitudes that create, or increase the risk of violence towards sex workers? Almost 20 years later and we are still working to change these old moral value based judgements. We can LISTEN! to those in the business before creating laws, policies and judgements. We can LEARN from the very real effects of reducing the harm to those coerced, underage or migrant workers not in a place of choice, and we can RESPECT the work done towards creating equal rights for every human being. Please.
What are your thoughts?