Labour Rights for Commercial Sex Workers in Jamaica: Implications for Social Policy and Development.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 12:00
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Rashalee MITCHELL, The University of the West Indies Mona campus, Jamaica, Jamaica, Sir Arthur Lewis for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), Jamaica
Commercial Sex Work presents an important area for social policy and development. The activity is considered illegal, unethical and immoral but nonetheless, continues among the younger females in the country. Female Commercial Sex Workers have been identified as a vulnerable group because of the risk of: sex trafficking, HIV and the illegal drug trade and abuse. These multiple forms of vulnerability, pose challenges for development & have implications for social policy, which need to be clearly defined. The Absence of a social policy framework for CSWs presents challenges for national development goals and human rights’ commitments. An expanded social policy framework linked to gender equality, human rights and the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, is likely to enable CSWs to have access to social protection, labour rights, and reduce the risk of poverty and harm that sex workers grapple with.

The aim of this paper is to present the rationale, objectives, conceptual and theoretical frameworks, examine the main paradigm that guides the methodological approach and to look at the general research design of the study.  Additionally, some of the preliminary findings will be explored in an effort to provide empirical evidence that will re-ignite the debate that will hopefully view sex workers as ‘citizens’ and as a part of the larger development plan of the country.