Sex Workers Of The World Should Learn From Their European Counterparts

by
Sameera Ehteram
Prostitutes in the Spanish island of Ibiza have formed a sex workers' union called Sealeer Cooperative to pay taxes and gain social security benefits.

Prostitutes in the Spanish island of Ibiza have formed a sex workers' union called Sealeer Cooperative to pay taxes and gain social security benefits.

Their spokeswoman, María Josí López told AFP that they are “pioneers".

"We are the first cooperative in Spain that can give legal cover to the girls."

López is not a sex worker herself, in fact she is a housewife, but registered as a member of Sealeer to act as a voluntary representative for the sex workers.

Like any workers' union, Sealeer members declare their income and pay taxes, which entitles them to public healthcare, a pension and other benefits.

Ibiza, generally known as the party central of Spain, draws millions of foreign tourists every year and prostitution is a thriving business.

An interesting read: Canada Supreme Court Treats Sex Workers Like People, Strikes Down Prostitution Laws

Apart from monetary benefits, having a union means security from criminals and pimps as well as a body that can speak up and even defend them if the need arises.

Sex workers across Europe seem to be becoming more and more aware of their rights. Late last year, prostitutes in France took to the streets when lawmakers decided to impose fines on the clients of prostitutes.

“We need our clients, and our clients need us. It goes both ways. If not, the repercussions will be vast. There will be rapes. Men will be drinking and taking drugs and will force girls into doing things. Clandestine workers will offer even lower prices. The mafia will rise. It will be a mess. What will happen will be horrible. Frankly, the problem will be 10 thousand times bigger," they said.

You may like to read: Should Prostitution Be A Crime In Germany Again?

At the same time, prostitutes in the Brazil are signing up in droves for free language classes in order to make the most of tourist influx during the 2014 soccer World Cup.

"When all this chatter about being ready for the World Cup started last year, we decided the women needed to be prepared for it too," Cida Vieira, president of the Minas Gerais state Association of Prostitutes, told Reuters.

"This is important for the dignity of the work, the women need to be able to negotiate a fair price and defend themselves," she added.

Dutch prostitutes have been astute enough to demand the same retirement and tax benefits as professional footballers because of the "hard physical work" and short career spans. Therefore, they would like to be able to save as much as they can.

Not many people would think twice about rights and benefits of sex workers and it is heartening to see they are becoming more and more aware of their rights and what is good for them in the long run.

Carbonated.TV