Sex Worker Wins Historic Case in Nicaragua

The Ministry set an important precedent by ruling against a night club that fired a sex worker for being pregnant

HAVANA TIMES – A historic precedent was set in the case of a sex worker in Nicaragua last week: the Ministry of Labor ruled in her favor, affirming for the first time that she is protected by the Nicaraguan labor rights. This trade union has been struggling for years to achieve this recognition.

The Sunflowers Association of Women Sex Workers informed this past Wednesday that the Ministry of Labor supported the accusation brought against a Night Club for having fired a woman for being pregnant.

“The Ministry of Labor resolved that the night club had violated a fundamental labor right regarding non-discrimination in the workplace against pregnant woman, and that they should compensate her and reinstate her in the workplace,” the communiqué from Girasoles affirmed.

The sex worker resumed work this past January 15 after giving birth and finalizing her postnatal leave period.  Nonetheless, the compensation ordered by the Ministry of Labor in the amount of 88,000 córdobas – just under US $3,000 – hasn’t yet been paid by the Night Club.

To the Sunflowers Association and their national coordinator Maria Elena Davila, the State institution’s ruling is “Historic, since it’s the first that we can count as an achievement. It’s evidence that the work we do is subject to labor rights, just like any other worker.”

Sunflowers is a pioneering organization.  They have succeeded in having 18 sex workers accredited as legal facilitators, a unique occurrence in the world that has inspired the realization of a new documentary.

The facilitators offer counsel on legal topics and not only to sex workers.  They can mediate in minor conflicts to avoid clogging the judicial system with relatively minor cases. They’ve studied the laws and have received training from experts.  During their first year, the facilitators attended 412 cases from the general population, 102 of them from female sex workers.

“The Sunflowers Association, through their Legal Facilitators, will be following this case until the Ministry’s resolution is completely fulfilled,” states a memo from the organization issued last Wednesday.

This article has been translated from Spanish by Havana Times

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