The Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers wrote this letter against the funding of International Justice Mission (IJM) for a pilot project to 'rescue' sex workers in Asia. The project coordinates with local police during brothel raids where sex workers are forcibly removed and detained illegally. The Global Network of Sex Work Projects condemns these violations of sex workers' rights, and has demanded that the Gates Foundation immediately cease funding these human rights abuses by the International Justice Mission.
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Intervention by Martine Ago, Ivory Coast:
The United Nations General Assembly
High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS
United Nations Headquarters
New York, USA, June 1, 2006
Your Excellency, the president of the United Nations General Assembly; Your Excellence, the Secretary General of the United Nations; and honored invitees, ladies and gentlemen:
I am Martine Ago, representative of sex professionals, from the Ivory Coast, a country that knows firsthand a military-political crisis with its crushing poverty, violence and degradation of the health system.
This report focuses on rape and violence perpetrated against sex workers in Phnom Penh, despite a drop in HIV rates among Cambodian citizens through it's 100% Condom Programme and other regulatory approaches that do not extend to rights and safety for sex workers.
Women in many cultures have used lemon or lime juice for contraception and vaginal hygiene for centuries; however, despite rumours that say otherwise, these juices are not only ineffective as a microbicide to prevent transmission of HIV, but can actually cause HIV transmission more easily because of the damage that they do to vaginal tissues.