“Rights not rescue” – the message could not be more clear in an article published this week in the Amsterdam-based newspaper, de Volkskrant, about the sex workers’ rights organising around the world.

volkskrant RUF article 2013

 

‘I’m an independent woman’, says Juliëtte, from the Dutch Geisha Fund, in a spirited tone. ‘My profession is beautiful. I don’t want to be treated like a victim. I’m too proud for that. I get so tired of people talking about us. The feminists try to decide what is good for me.’  

‘Yes, violence does take place’, says her colleague Jacqueline. ‘Violence also takes place in marriages. Should we ban marriage because of that?’

Dutch journalist Rob Vreeken writes about the Red Umbrella Fund’s approach to financing sex workers’ rights organisations – where decisions about funding are made by sex workers themselves.

Sex workers […] want to be heard and recognised. They say that they are too often the subject of discussions and decision-making by both conservative governments, and well-meaning donors and aid organisations. Too much moralism and paternalism.

The Red Umbrella Fund embodies the opposite approach. The sex workers here have the final say. All the money goes to sex workers and their self-led organisations. The decriminalisation of sex work and recognition of the profession as an honest job are the cornerstones of its philosophy.

 

Read the entire article here: Volkskrant article ‘Sex workers tired of paternalism’


Crossposted from Mama Cash

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