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Be Safe When Working Outside

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, entertainment establishments are forced to temporarily close (completely or partially). Apart from health concerns, fellow sisters also worry about their livelihoods. AFRO has learnt that many sisters have changed their mode of working, by contacting clients at streets, online or through other channels, and providing service at different hotels and guesthouses. Compared to fellow sisters working at fixed venues, those who work at hotels and guesthouses lack support and may easily become target of criminals. Problems of sneak shots, robbery, threatening and blackmailing with personal information obtained without consent are not rarely seen. AFRO would like to remind fellow sisters to pay extra attention when interacting with potential clients on social platforms and when going out to work.

Reminders for Interacting with Clients Online and Working Outside
Call AFRO's 24-hour emergency hotline 2770 1002 if you have a question, AFRO can accompany fellow sisters to the police and provide support needed. 
Upcoming Event

Professional Training Workshop

With the sponsorship of Beat Drugs Fund, AFRO is going to organise an online training workshop themed "How do Hong Kong Female Sex Workers Face the Challenges of Drugs?" on 20 May 2020, aiming to arouse concern among people who may contact sex workers on drugs related issues, such as professionals and students from social welfare, medical, education and other sectors. Social workers from AFRO will share on sex industry in Hong Kong and drugs related issues. AFRO has also invited Dr. Winnie Yuen as guest speaker to share on the mental health treatment needs of drug users.

Date: 20 May 2020 (Wednesday)
Time: 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Format: Online platform (Webex Meetings)
Deadline for application: 17 May 2020
AFRO's News Reading

'Don't have to fight for pennies': New Zealand safety net help sex workers in lockdown
(The Guardian, 2020.04.28)

The week before New Zealand went into full lockdown on 26 March, Lana*, 28, had taken a break from work at the high-end Wellington brothel where, since September, she had made around NZ$2,200 a month seeing two or three clients a week.

On 23 March, her university announced courses would move online. The following day she decided to stay with her parents in Auckland, and applied for New Zealand’s emergency wage subsidy for all workers whose earnings have fallen by at least 30% due to coronavirus.

Just two days later the money – a lump sum of NZ$4,200 covering 12 weeks of lost part-time earnings – was in her account. Full-time workers, who average more than 20 hours a week, get a lump sum of $7,029... Read more

AFRO's Comments:

In New Zealand where sex work was decriminalised in 2003, sex workers are able to access financial benefits like other sectors during the COVID-19 crisis. Not only with financial support from the government, the sex work community in New Zealand also maintains a robust relationship with law enforcement bodies. They are much more fortunate than their counterparts in other countries where sex work is still criminalised.

This reflects the numerous benefits of decriminalisation of sex work, especially in difficult times as such. In New Zealand, sex work is recognised as a formal work and sex workers are protected and respected. Perhaps, the deeply rooted prejudice, discrimination and marginalisation of sex workers all originate from its criminalised nature. Perhaps, all it takes to help sex workers overcome challenges is decriminalisation. We see this, New Zealand also sees this. When will our government finally see this and give it some serious thoughts?

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