“I did my investigations and these people (robbers in the vicinity of Demico) are not sex workers. They are thieves who are just giving our sex workers a bad name.” This is the strong conviction of Executive Director of Guyana Sex Work Coalition, Miriam Edwards.
A perturbed Edwards spoke to Guyana Standard a few moments ago in her bid to clear the name of sex workers accused of carrying out robberies around the area near Demico and Public Building.
Edwards referenced an article published in today’s edition of the Kaieteur News that “painted sex workers in a bad light; like if they are thieves.”
The article read, “As innocent citizens pass by that area at night, the sex workers will pounce on them, openly robbing them of valuables. Every time this happens, they are well assisted by their male counterparts who are always ready to render assistance…Sources are informed that these men are there for two purposes– aiding in the robberies and providing security if the sex workers are overpowered by their prey.”
Edwards said she carried out an investigation and has been assured that sex workers are focused on their business and are not taken up with carrying out robberies.
Edwards said, “If they (the robbers) were sex workers, they would have gone and done their business but that is not happening. These thieves are just pretending to be sex workers…Is really a robbery they pulling off. I am telling you, they are not sex workers.”
Edwards confirmed that there are sex workers who frequent that area. She said too that she spoke to them and they indicated that they heard about the robberies but never witnessed any. Perhaps, they are busy “carrying out a business” when the robberies are taking place, expressed the representative.
In addition to this, Edwards said that she sees the Kaieteur News article as discriminatory.
She said that the sex workers are “out there to do their business, to do their job, looking for their honest dollar, they don’t be on thieving. So I have a problem with that what the media doing.”
Kaieteur also carried another article today about sex workers plying their trade on Sheriff Street.
The allegations in that article are similar to those made about what is purportedly happening at the Demico and Public Building area.
It alleges that the sex workers are armed with knives and approach victims asking for money owed to them for services provided.
Edwards said that she could not speak with authority as to what is happening at Sheriff Street as her investigation thus far has been inconclusive.
She said that most of the workers who ply their trade on Sheriff Street are transgender. She said, “I work with them too but I do not have enough information about that. I am investigating it now. But I am sure about what is happening at Demico.”
Edwards said that she is slated to meet with the head of Guyana Trans United tomorrow. “I will see if they have information on that as to if it’s truth or lie.”
Edwards was keen to note that the Guyana Sex Work Coalition does not promote sex work but simply represent the rights of sex workers. “We do not promote it. Anybody doing that is their choice.”