By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Over a dozen Sex Workers from several regional countries are getting set to travel to Guyana in October where a meeting of Sex Workers from across the Caribbean will take place.
While the meeting will see a vast exchange of the challenges that beset the minority community in the respective jurisdiction, it will also see the sex workers being trained to do better advocacy for the trade.
Among the countries from which Sex Workers are expected are: Trinidad and Tobago (2), Jamaica (4), Suriname (2), Grenada (3), Antigua (2), and Dominican Republic (3).
Some ten Sex Workers from Guyana are also expected to participate in the meeting which kicks off on October20 and runs for four days.
During an interview with iNews, Executive Director of the Guyana Sex Worker Coalition and Co – Chair of the Caribbean Sex Work Coalition, Miriam Edwards said it was important to have Sex Workers trained in Human Rights and also the rights afforded to them in their local constitution.
She explained that currently there are consultants in several Caribbean countries that are a part of the Caribbean Sex Work Coalition, working to strengthen sex workers organizations, set up organizations where there is none with the aim of ultimately encouraging a more structured advocacy for the trade.
She said the countries participating in the training are mapping their sex work locations in their respective communities which will be reported on, along with the risk, among other issues when the meeting convenes.
Meanwhile, Edwards who is a former Sex Worker herself, said a local campaign is currently underway to seek the decriminalization of sex work in Guyana.
She explained that the campaign is funded by the Caribbean Vulnerable Committee Coalition (CCVC/COIN) and will see the organization lobbying Parliamentarians and speaking out on the issues affecting sex workers.
She highlighted that violence is a major challenge to sex workers; adding that it continues to spiral on a daily basis.
Edwards says she will ensure that the law makers understand their obligation to protect the minority community from Stigma and discrimination.