Saint-Josse-ten-Noode refuses to provide extra protection for its sex workers
Friday, 15 November 2019
The municipality council of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode adopted a motion on Wednesday to protect women against sexist violence, but refused to add sex workers to that list.
After two sex workers were violently mugged in Saint-Josse recently in the Quartier Nord, member of the municipality council Fréderic Roekens proposed adding a passage that explicitly includes sex workers to the motion to help women protect themselves better against violence.
However, the addition was refused by the majority of the voting council. “We do not really understand,” said Roekens, reports Bruzz. “Especially considering the current situation in the Quartier Nord, we would like to ask for extra attention for sex workers, which are people who often find themselves in very precarious situations. We did not think it as very controversial to ask for the addition of the passage,” he added.
Utsopi, an organisation advocating for the rights of sex workers, does not understand the refusal of the majority either. The organisation accuses the mayor Emir Kir of rather being rid of the sex workers than helping to protect them. “Kir likes to give great statements as a big ‘humanist’, but on his own territory he does not make any effort to protect sex workers at all,” Utsopi’s spokesperson said, reports Het Nieuwsblad. “On the contrary, he tries to expel them from his municipality in every possible way,” she added.
“The motion was specifically about acknowledging femicide in the Belgian Criminal Code,” Kir said, in a statement to Bruzz. “It is a term for murdering women or girls because of their female status,” he added.
The motion about femicide was adopted, without the additional passage on sex workers.