Are Safe Zones Good For Sex Workers?
November 13, 2015
Being human implies liking and disliking things, as well as having opinions about almost everything around us, even if occasionally we don’t know too much about the problems we discuss. It is normal to have thoughts! But sometimes, the fact that we have the ability to rationalize is not enough and we need a bit of research before we can be for or against something.
Let’s think about sex work, for example. There are many people who blame everybody involved in this business, while there are others who just deal with the fact it exists. At the same time, there are people who believe that paying for sex is a terrifying thing while others can’t wait for an evening off, in order to meet a talented escort.
So, how about street sex workers? Should them be stigmatized or helped? Must police take them to jail or protect them?
If you stop thinking about the job itself, about your likes and dislikes, what will you say? Don’t sex workers deserve safety as much as any other worker regardless of the fact that they are doing something you don’t approve with? Are all your relatives happy with the job you have? My family judges my life choices every time we meet. Being a writer is not the same as being a lawyer or a doctor, is it?
Fortunately, forgetting about their personal opinions, most people, especially part of the police and politicians became realistic understanding the fact that sex services will always exist and they can’t do anything about this.
But there is something they can do about the workers: treating them as normal human beings, monitoring on-street sex business, and providing security for the sex service providers, by creating safe zones!
Improving the Health and Safety of Sex Workers
There are many critics who state that creating safe zones for sex workers makes selling sex more acceptable, instead of trying to prevent it. As mentioned, you can’t arrest everybody and ban everything you find inappropriate! In this case, we are talking about people and their rights to live the life they want.
Therefore, instead of taking moral views and judge consenting adults who come to an arrangement, just like anybody else in different fields, we should agree with the fact that society has the role to make us safe, not judge our choices!
And we should not forget that there are 14-year-old girls walking the streets and offering sex almost for free. Isn’t this the real problem? Children involved in the sex industry, not adults who know what they are doing?
So yes, secure street zones are fantastic ideas since the underage girls would be found and taken care of! Also, there are safe streets where sex workers have been imposed a dress code and given condoms! Furthermore, if one of them is missing for a couple of days, the police starts asking around!
And that is not all! Secure streets will also offer sex workers the chance to access health services! And that’s not only for their safety but also their clients!
Decreasing Human Trafficking, Sexual Abuse, Rape, and Murder
While discussing whether sex work is ethical or not is important, some of you might not remember to think about the bigger issues, like human trafficking, sexual abuse, rape and even murder.
Yes, the market for sex is connected to drugs, crimes, and violence. Some sex workers are illegal residents and victims of the human trafficking. This makes them even more vulnerable to abuse! And crimes? Women who work in the sex market are killed frequently and it happens because instead of receiving protection, they are haunted by the police officers who are more eager to arrest than save them.
Is there somebody or some place where they can go and ask for help? Since some of them don’t even have a roof over their head, help is too far away so they just deal with it doing drugs, and this is how another issue appears.
And yes, designated zones can reduce crime in the sex market. There are such safe areas in many countries and they managed to keep the sex workers much safer than in the past.
Impacting the Lives of Local Residents
Many people complain that their children can meet the sex workers on the street and have a bad influence on them. If you ask me, there can be many bad influences outside of our houses, but the way the children see everything depends on a lot of the education, and the amount of time we spend of preparing them for life.
However, not only does providing sex workers with safe zones, as well as places to go and ask for help could actually help them find a different path, but a designated area might also mean it is away from residential areas.
Therefore, this idea can solve many issues, not only for the sex workers but also for their clients and the people who have different views on life. Yes, moving the whole sex market far from the residential area, in one point might bring other issues. But assuming the police will take care of them, and of the people who use sex services, it cannot be worse than it already is, can it?