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The National Health System NHS in Brazil provides access to health as a fundamental right of the entire population and a duty of the state, through social and economic policy implementation to reduce disease and other health problems, irrespective of background or social status.

However, the Brazilian state does not regulate sex work, with no mandatory health checks or legal rights and this brings into question the rights sex workers have to access health entitlements. Non-governmental organisations in Brazil are working to address these wider issues of sex worker rights, including the bigger picture of health and wellbeing, and the social aspects of living. For example, the Brazilian Network of Prostitutes is a national network of more than 30 organizations Prostitute Network with a history of partnership working with the Ministry of Health to design and implement HIV prevention projects centred upon human rights, stigma and discrimination, decriminalization of prostitution, access to health services and strengthening the capacity of sex worker organizations in Brazil.

Berkman and Garcia et al.

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The World Bank report suggests that stigma and discrimination continues against sex workers in Brazil and is the primary barrier to service access, prevention and advocacy actions The World Bank The risk of sexual transmission of HIV infection of sex workers who are not able to access services are heightened, with strong reference to the frequent experience of violence, prolonging the inability to protect themselves and maintain good sexual health Human Rights Watch Sex workers also find it challenging to negotiate safe sex with clients, [1] including the use of condoms, physical and sexual violence Carrington and Betts Sex work in Brazil is not against the law, but it is considered as an immoral profession in a strongly Catholic state.

However, regardless of questions of morality, the criminalization of sex work encourages the toleration of violence and harassment, leaving many less likely to enjoy protection from these offences Rekart Violence is an ongoing threat to those involved in the sex industry, with perpetrators not just clients, but also those who serve under a duty of protection to the public, the police.

Globally, there has been enough research to suggest that harsh police tactics are faced in all parts of the world by sex workers, including violence, harassment and extortion The World Bank From the twelve countries that participated, ten found that there were worryingly high levels of physical and sexual violence from police officers SWAN If violence was not experienced directly, it was of knowledge that such acts were taking place in Brazil by the police.

Violence is also brought from dealing with neighbourhood upset, when people call the police if they witness sex workers. These situations often involve assault or forced movement without consent, and even threats to clients. Sex workers want to be able to provide a peaceful service.

There is also reason to believe that police corruption takes place on the basis that pimps will give police officers money that they unfairly obtain from sex workers. These street pimps are also known to be a source of violence against sex workers, with one of the sex workers interviewed indicating that sex workers are being murdered, especially transgender. There is no question that violence will be experienced by sex workers over the World Cup It is the number one challenge faced by sex workers.

Police are extremely corrupt in Brazil. I have been to Rio de Janeiro and other parts of South America on numerous occasions. A huge part of my job with Interpol is to get the police working together to support safer environments; however for Brazil it may be too late, given the extent of events which are taking place next year. There is not enough manpower to deal with the corruption. There is especially concern over the lack of intervention on improving constitutional rights such as education and health, with priority instead being given to tourist cable cars and football stadiums.

Current services available to support the needs of sex workers fear for their future at such a crucial time with the nearing World Cup.

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These services are faced with disapproval, especially from church-led organisations, as well as no funding support. Organisations have expressed concern about the welfare of sex workers and clients with reports of robbery both from and by clients. Sex workers have battled with clients who will try to get services free of charge, and sex workers have robbed clients who live on the streets.

Transvestites are particularly poor in Brazil, with many sleeping on the streets, with allegations of opportunism and theft rife, especially during periods of increased tourist attraction. Food was also explained to be a frequent method of payment for sex services. There is a divide in Brazil between civil society organisations and the Brazilian government on the subject of sex workers. An organisation interviewed told of a very positive working relationship with the government, but admitted that they did not get the funding support they needed entirely.

HIV/AIDS in Brazil

In contrast, the other organisations employ volunteer human rights lawyers, who work significantly on a daily basis for sex workers. Legal services assisting sex workers in court have achieved decisions that deem sex workers eligible for services and legal protections. However, my case study of an HIV positive sex worker showed that it is not always simple for them to get support needed from government led services, especially from health professionals.

One sex worker stated:. My research has sought to gather unheard voices from sex workers and organisations, helping to give a valuable insight into a reality that exists throughout Brazil. The research hopes to raise matters of concern, months before the World Cup and two years before the Olympics.


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These challenges, with the expected spike in international tourism is now causing sex workers and organisations to be aware and more alert for potentially harmful consequences for those in the sex industry over the 21 st century sporting events. The Government of Brazil should be encouraged to protect the rights of, and minimise discrimination against groups particularly vulnerable to HIV, as well as violence and mistreatment.

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Book Description Routledge. Seller Inventory Seller Inventory I Herbet Daniel ; Richard Parker. Publisher: Routledge , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Providing a cross-cultural perspective on the social construction of AIDS in Brazil, this book presents research by authors who have a decades experience in AIDS activism and social research. Product Description : First published in Buy New Learn more about this copy. About AbeBooks.

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