Commercial sex workers to undergo alternative skills training
Commercial sex workers in the Guyana mining sector being equipped for other avenues.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday, February 23, 2012 – Guyana’s frontier mining industry has spawned a thriving opportunity for commercial sex workers but now these women are being given the opportunity to upgrade their skills and possibly become miners themselves.
Commercial sex workers in hinterland mining communities like Mahdia, in Region 8, will soon have an opportunity to ply a new trade, thanks to collaboration between a newly established Women Miners’ Group and the Canadian High Commission.
According to Simone Broomes, President of the newly established Guyana Women Miners Organisation, the sex workers will benefit from training to be heavy-duty operators or even in areas like business management.
Broomes made the disclosure recently during a visit to Mahdia, a Region Eight mining community.
The miner disclosed that the initiative is being done in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission in Guyana and other areas for training will be developed during interactions with commercial sex workers.
Broomes, a vocal miner, noted that there are cases of many women venturing into the mining sector as commercial sex workers but were fortunate enough to become dredge owners and legitimate business women. But not everyone has the stamina and financing to strive in mining, a traditionally male dominated field.
The Region Eight authorities have also pledged to support the organisation in the battle against sexual enslavement in the district. They related that many women and children who provide sexual services for men in the industry were lured there expecting to become cooks, shop keepers and washers.
Some residents disclosed that many commercial sex workers operating on Mahdia landing are there willingly but many women are in the “bush bottom” as enslaved “sex workers”. They are isolated from the society and kept in mining camps or shops to satisfy men’s desires and released when they are no longer needed.
Some Mahdia residents believe that what is happening in the mining areas with women are but a simple form of human trafficking. While there is a feeling that the police should be more proactive, there is a general distrust of ranks.
It was alleged that the police are aware of entities that are involved in the “sex trade” but nothing is being done since they too are constantly supplied with sex from young girls.