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This agreement is the first of its kind in the American continent. Before talking about the organization that you preside, I'd like to talk a little about the day to day reality of sex work in Nicaragua. What are the main risks sex workers face on a daily basis? The main risk that we face is the lack of security. Most sex workers work on the streets, the rest work in nightclubs. We are subjected to discrimination and violence from clients, from the owners of the nightclubs as well as from ordinary people, our neighbours, people that know us.
Sometimes you are physically attacked, or you are abused verbally. And it is not only the sex worker that is subjected to this sort of discrimination but also her kids and the rest of her family. So our families suffer the consequences of our work. Another risk we face is the inadequate attention we receive from public institutions like the police or at health centers and hospitals - places we go for protection and support.
We are victims of police discrimination and violence KJ: Would you say that it is common, that it is normal, for police officers to discriminate against sex workers? We live in a society where women are stigmatized just for being women. And if you're a sex worker then it's much worse. People always blame you if anything bad happens to you.
If a client does something to you, if he hit you or made you do something you didn't want to do, no one wants to listen. They'll say that you provoked him, or that you wanted to steal from him. So when you go to the police station to make a complaint about what happened they stigmatize you terribly. They don't want to know. They don't value you as a human being with legally established rights.
This is a problem that sex workers face across the country. In Matagalpa the police don't let the girls wait for clients in the park. They force them to leave. The girls in Matagalpa have suffered a lot of violence from the police. Sometimes clients refuse to use condoms, and sometimes sex workers can't afford to buy condoms. This is an issue that our organization has focused a lot of effort on.