Quito Ecuador: City wants to relocate sex workers from historic center

Posted on June 21, 2017 • Filed under: Ecuador, Latin America Womens Issues, Social Issues

Daniel Romero/elcomercio.com (machine translated) – The Municipality has a new plan for the relocation of sex workers working in the Historic Center. The associations that represent them accepted the official proposal, but there is a problem: at least 10 neighborhoods oppose. In the dialogue tables, which since May 2017 coordinates the Ministry of Social Inclusion of the Municipality , the option was presented to transfer the sex workers to the El Censo mills.

This proposal, according to leaders of sex workers, met her two months ago. After speaking with their representatives, they showed their agreement. For Jacobo Herdoíza, Secretary of Territory, Habitat and Housing , The Census meets the specifications required for the operation of these activities, such as being within 2 kilometers of educational institutions, residential neighborhoods and health services. However, representatives of 10 nearby bars say they will be affected. For the residents of Luluncoto , La Vicentina, Loma Grande, San Sebastián, La Mexico, Chimbacalle, La Colina, Recoleta, San Pablo and Aranjuez, sex work attracts crime and drugs, which creates insecurity for residents . This project led them to organize themselves through a Permanent Assembly of Neighborhoods of the Center-East of Quito. The last meeting with the municipal authorities took place last Wednesday. According to Patricio Tamayo, sub-coordinator of that Assembly, what they achieved that day is to oppose the transfer of the sex workers from the Historical Center to the Census. Tamayo commented that the Municipality offered to deliver the studies carried out to give way to this project. But despite the offer and support of the study, there is no predisposition to reach an agreement. “If there is already insecurity in our sectors, then it will be worse. The Municipality can not guarantee security because that corresponds to the National Police, “he said. The Municipality is aware of this problem, but believes that it can solve it with an adequate socialization of the project, not only with the local leaders but with all those involved in the possible sector for the transfer, said César Mantilla, secretary of Social Inclusion. In the Center of Quito there are four associations of sex workers. According to their representatives there are about 300 women working in the vicinity of the Plaza del Teatro , Santo Domingo and on the boulevard of May 24. They already defined their position. There is no way to move to another place that is not near the Historic Center. For them and for the Secretariat of Territory, Habitat and Housing, the Census is the option that would provide the necessary conditions. According to Nelly Hernández, of the United Association for Our Rights , the proposal has acceptance as long as the agreements reached with the authorities are met. The main ones are: provision of security, a minimum of accessibility to the area and better conditions to carry out its activity. The Municipality wants to avoid what happened with the relocation of sex workers to La Cantera, in San Roque, which did not work in 2006. Mantilla said that this time it is not just a move from the street to a closed place. “Women workers must take charge of space, require training in rights and health and the possibility of generating microenterprises.” According to Herdoíza, the idea to treat sex work in Quito is to concentrate it in specific places. Part of this is the idea of ​​The Census, whose intervention would be integral. It would recover the ravine, the Machángara river and within that work a space for the sexual work of the Historical Center is destined. On the subject, Daniel Pontón, security expert, pointed out that the presence of sex workers does not necessarily influence the increase in crime. “Sex work is not a direct factor, but it could be a trigger. The conflict also influences the vision of this activity as an attack on morale, “he said. For the sociologist Luis Verdezoto , the important thing in these processes is to reach agreements between all the parties involved in the subject. “There must be an agreement, both for those who exercise the activity in terms of profitability and working conditions as for residents, in terms of compensation. They must take into account the greater good of the city, “said Verdezoto. The project does not have a start date. However, according to Herdoíza, it is expected that several works in The Census will begin, at least, the second half of 2017. In context The relocation of the sexual work that is located in the Historic Center of Quito has been a goal of several municipal administrations. The current one has a new project to locate them in a space rehabilitated in the Census, between La Marín and Luluncoto. Read Article


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