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Sex workers in Brazil - Essay Example

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Sex workers engage in sexual activities in exchange of money (or prostitution) (Jenness 19). In Brazil, the act of adult prostitution is legal, since no laws exist explicitly against it. However, what is prohibited is the operating of brothels or employing prostitutes to work in ways other than their own initiative. Prostitutes in Brazil operate from hotels, night clubs and the streets, with the environments ranging from irregular schedules to inside automobiles and closed places to open air. This often exposes them to social discrimination, bad weather, street violence and even death.
Campaigns to formalize prostitution have been vocal in modern times. In 1987, a national sex workers’ conference was held in Brazil, which saw the establishment of the Da Vida or as it is known in English, the National Network of Prostitutes. The network has represented Brazil in other consequent conferences including the Yokohama 1994 AIDS conference in Japan and the 1997 California international prostitution conference in the United States. On June 7, 2013, the movements of prostitute and sanitary reform in Brazil, which were responsible for the creation of the Unified Health System, released a statement portraying their common interests in the dialogue process. The prostitute movement argues that in the same way health was transformed into a state obligation and a right for every citizen, without privileges and prejudices, so should prostitution. They opine that prostitution should be oriented by the

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same principles of community participation, decentralization, integrality, equality and universality as health.
Projects in Brazil Highlighting the Position of Sex Workers In the 1990s, the Prostitution and Civil Rights Program sponsored the Brazilian Prostitute’s Network and fought against violence and stigma against sex workers. This was in a bid to make civil rights more accessible to them, promote self-determination and build self-esteem. In conjunction with the then Ministry of Health, the program produced materials to prevent the spread of AIDS and sexually transmitted infections under its Health Education Project (Jenness 38). The project recruited transvestites and prostitutes to distribute the materials among their different prostitution areas through their networks of contacts in Rio de Janeiro. The recruits received training (although informal) and soon became health agents in their communities, promoting the project and handing out free educational materials on AIDS and free condoms. This gesture demonstrated the authorities’ acceptance of the sex workers’ trade and their intention to protect their health, as the sex workers also opened their doors to the initiatives. Early this year, the Brazilian Network of Prostitutes worked in collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s Department of STD/AIDS to develop a campaign on the prevention of HIV by sex workers to be used on June 2nd (International Prostitutes Day). This showed the ministry’s readiness to work with the network. However, in a twist of events, the government made some alterations to the contents of the campaigns, which sparked off the protests that led to the release of the statement by the network. Context of the Prostitution Debate based on Miss HIV The core argument brought out by Miss HIV is why there seems to be no solid end to HIV/AIDS in the foreseeable future. This is in spite of the billions of dollars spent annually on cure and prevention, yet millions of people are still dying from HIV/AIDS related complications, which are curable. The producers of the film point an accusing finger at all the groups lobbying for casual sex through a misconceived ideology of human rights (Miss HIV 1). Sex
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Summary

This paper will discuss projects that have taken place in Brazil to highlight the sex workers’ position in Brazil, the pros and cons of prostitution and the global perspective on how prostitutes relate to development. …
Sex workers in Brazil
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