Department of Labour and Barcelona City Hall develop employment plan for prostitutes

The Surt Foundation and the Catalan Government fund the reinsertion of female sex workers into the regular labour market. 6 of the 24 participating women have already found a job.

Violeta Sugranyes

June 23, 2010 09:40 PM

Barcelona (CNA) .- The Catalan Minister for Labour, Mar Serna, and the Mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, have launched a new integration program aimed at women who work or have worked as prostitutes in public spaces. This plan will provide advice, guidance and help to incorporate into the regular work market a total of 24 women who have taken the step to leave the streets. The project is endowed with 83,000 euros and is the first time the Department of Labour has participated in a reinsertion programme for female sex workers, promoted by the city of Barcelona and the Surt Foundation. Since March, when the plan was launched, 6 of the 24 women have already found work.
The initiative is part of an agreement between the Department of Labour and the City Hall to jointly promote policies between the two administrations and to set up programs to promote the reinsertion of these women. Minister Mar Serna explained that this plan is the “best way to end this kind of modern slavery”. Serna also remarked on the importance of the work done in recent years by the Department. Twenty-three companies have agreed to give an opportunity to get these women out of the cycle of gender violence, “because prostitution is also a form of gender violence”.

The Mayor of Barcelona said that each work contract achieved by these women is an opportunity for the future “and becomes the end of the chain that links them to the streets”. The integration program began last March and is scheduled to end before this year ends. So far, 6 of the 24 women who have joined the program have a regular job. Serna said that if 70% of this group could obtain a work contract then the programme could be considered a success.

42% of the women participating in the project are between 35 and 45 years old. 37% of them are Spanish and the rest are from overseas predominantly from Ecuador, Nigeria, Romania, Brazil and Peru.