It is very alarming that most sex workers are young girls who are usually between the ages of 12 to 19 years. Many of the girls find themselves into such kind of work due to several circumstances and among them is poverty which ranks highly in the list of major driving factors.
The young girls’ explain that they lack money to make ends meet in their day to day life and that they have no other means of earning income apart from the sex work activities. Whether their reasons are justifiable or not, one thing that is outstanding is that they are human beings
Some quarters in the society believe that sex workers engage into such activities just for fun and to enjoy. Spare your time and chat with them you will find out that the enjoyment is a last thing on their mind and the furthest thing that is away from the truth.
Each and every day of their lives is marked by so many trials as well as tribulations and their conditions in life are very dreadful in every sense of that word. They are molested, tortured and they even suffer harshest forms of physical abuse.
Many organizations shun and perceive them as abnormal human beings with no value in life. However, one thing we have to bear in our minds is that they are also human beings and by extension they are also entitled to the same human rights that we enjoy.
Involving them does not mean supporting sex work activities. In addition to that, you cannot just call someone immoral and just watch while others dehumanize and violate their rights and freedoms. If we are to put the spread of HIV on check then our strategies need to be inclusive.
YONECO is one of the organizations that are implementing a project which involves sex workers. With funding from the National Aids commission, the organization is able to conduct trainings and workshops for these girls whereby they are being civic educated on human rights and how they can play their part to reduce the spread of HIV.
This is mainly due to the fact that their line of work puts them and others at risk of getting HIV. The organization has established Drop in Centres where these girls discuss issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS and their welfare.
This has proved to be very helpful as it has changed the mind sets of other sex workers who just joined the industry because of peer pressure and other unjustifiable reasons. Some of the girls are planning to go back to school and others are reducing the number of hours they work and looking around for other jobs while others are interested in starting legitimate businesses and looking at avenues to make the transition.
They are confidently expressing their desire to change. Here is something that is happening that can protect and change the lives of many. Discriminating these people cannot and will not change or solve anything but involving them will change things.
If you are fighting against the spread of HIV, one thing you have to know is that excluding some groups of people in the society is counterproductive.