Sex workers to be offered social support through new scheme

A collaboration between two government entities involved in human rights and social work will conduct community outreach and offer individual counselling to sex workers

A social service intended for sex workers will offer individual counselling and community outreach (File Photo)
A social service intended for sex workers will offer individual counselling and community outreach (File Photo)

Sex workers will be able to receive immediate assistance and long term support from a new government service that will provide individual counselling and carry out community outreach.

The new service targeted directly at prostitutes will be offered through a collaboration between the Human Rights Directorate and Foundation for Social Welfare Services.

The agreement between both State agencies was signed today in the presence of Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon and Equality Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar.

Aġenzija Appoġġ will be preparing the scheme to help secure assessment tools, individual and group work with clients, and care plans that offer long-term direction to those seeking help. 

Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar addresses a press conference on the launch of the Sex Workers Support Scheme - Photo: DOI in the presence of Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon
Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar addresses a press conference on the launch of the Sex Workers Support Scheme - Photo: DOI in the presence of Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon

Falzon described this as an important step in fostering an environment of dignity and equal opportunity.

"This isn't a matter of how big the section of the population you will be reaching is - each and every one of us in society has their own needs which need to be addressed. Our message today is that we are interested in everyone, minority or not," he said.

Cutajar, who is spearheading a sex work reform process, explained that anyone working in prostitution, whether by choice or otherwise, should be given all help necessary so that they can be protected in their line of work. 

She said certain prejudices towards sex workers make it harder for these to find help or necessary services, especially when reporting abuse or violence. 

"Every minority is important in our country. Through this service we will offer dignity and respect to all those in the world of prostitution, and as a government we are committed to help and break any prejudices and stigma towards these people," she said. 

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