'500K Filipinos engage in prostitution'
By Artemio Dumlao (philstar.com) | Updated February 11, 2013 - 6:23pm BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Sex workers in the country are reaching the half a million mark, a non-government organization said. "Tex", a Baguio-based rights advocate and a member of the Philippine Sex Workers Collective, said that as the number of sex workers grows so does the number of cases of abuse and violence against them. "The reason why so much abuse happens is that they are not recognized by law and the government...," Tex said. An NGO called "Women Hookers Organizing For Their Rights and Empowerment (WHORE) is treading the thorny path toward government recognition of this history-old job called prostitution. The project would start with a photography contest in the city that according to "Tex" will lend a human face to "hookers" or "whores", who also have human rights and need government protection. Tex said "as long as poverty is there, you expect more people to engage in prostitution." He said there are about 500,000 sex workers in the country, 3,000 of whom are in Baguio City, one of the country's top tourist draws. Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
Among others, Filipino sex workers face health issues, made worse by fear of being denied access to health services. WHORE, which has began "talking" to and organizing sex workers in Baguio, Tex said, has taken note of various anecdotes, illustrating the stigma that sex workers face as they have yet to secure recognition from the government. "In the most extreme (cases), we hear of sex workers complaining of rape to authorities, but rarely get serious results on the ground that they are not believed to have been raped because they are prostitutes. As if sex workers have no rights," Tex said. In Baguio, more than 300 sex workers, mostly street hookers including males, are "talking" with WHORE. When finally given legal recognition, the advocacy group, a member of the Asia...
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