Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Report: Staying Safe on the Streets

The following are direct quotes from the article:
Staying Safe on the Streets: A Situational Analysis of Commercial Sex Work in Eritrea

Major Findings
Classification of sex workers
Commercial sex workers (CSW) are usually classified according to the type of place from which they operate, namely from bars, hotels, their own houses or from the streets, and there are differences in the type of clientele for each of these types, and in the fees that they charge (as discussed below). Often they are also grouped according to their age group – usually into what are commonly referred to as “underage” girls (below 18 years), and older women. Some classify CSWs according to whether they are registered or not; the latter are often referred to as “secret” CSWs, who usually have other occupations too. CSWs who work in bars are apparently often not paid to do so; their payment is in return for sex with clients who frequent the bars.

Problems faced by CSWs
Most agreed that there is significant competition between CSWs, based on the clothes and jewellery that they wear, their hairstyles, their youth and beauty. Key informants had sometimes witnessed nasty fights (involving broken bottles, for example) between CSWs, though others spoke of a strong support system amongst fellow CSWs. The main problems faced by CSWs include violence from clients, clients who refuse to use condoms or who deliberately take them off or tear them during sex, a lack of alternative job opportunities and requests for ‘unusual’ or distasteful sexual acts by their clients.

Possible interventions
The main suggestions for intervention included the facilitation of employment opportunities and training for CSWs, and the provision of more entertainment facilities for youth, to detract from the demand for prostitutes. Several wanted the female condom to be made widely available to CSWs. Rehabilitation centres were suggested, too. CSWs reacted favourably to the idea of peer education and other health-related programmes. They felt that registration appealed on account of their being able to have frequent health-check-ups and free STI treatment but noted that some CSWs resist registration because they fear an HIV positive test result or are afraid of identifying themselves as commercial sex workers.

Source: Staying Safe on the Streets
(UNAIDS, UNFPA, Min. of Health Gov. of Eritrea)
Click here to read the full report!

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