Head of the Caribbean Association of Sex Workers Miriam Edwards says sex workers throughout the region are willing to pay taxes if respective governments would start recognizing what they do as a job.
“We are willing to pay taxes if they have the right to work and if they accept sex as a job,” she told delegates at the recent 2011 HIV Conference which was held at the Atlantis, Paradise Island Bahamas.
Edwards added that sex workers want to pay taxes so they can have access to benefits which other workers are eligible to receive.
“We are not prepared to stop sex work and we don’t want anybody to ask us to stop. We want out job to be accepted just like that of the police and nurses,” she told delegates.
The Guyanese national said she was forced to enter the commercial sex trade at age 14 as that was the only available option which allowed her to be able to remain in school and subsequently take care of her seven children.
Princess Brown, president of the Jamaica Association of Sex Workers, said sex workers do not want to be accepted and put in a corner but treated as any other worker.
Although the HIV prevalence rate is high among commercial sex workers, Brown said sex workers have the right not to disclose their HIV status to their partners/clients.
She said often times the human rights of sex workers are violated when they are caught.