Nicaragua's labour ministry recognises labour rights of sex workers

NSCAG News | on: Wednesday, 15 February 2017

In the first successful case of its kind, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Labour, MITRAB, has recognised the labour rights of a sex worker who was fired from a night club for being pregnant.

The historic ruling was made against the night club and in favour of the sex worker who was reintegrated into her work after giving birth and completing her maternity leave.

The Nicaraguan Women's Association of Sex Workers Girasoles (or Sunflowers) released a statement saying that MITRAB had ruled favourably for the worker and upheld the fundamental labour right of non discrimination against women in the workplace for being pregnant.

This was also a great moment for the Girasoles association of and for sex workers which has been organising Nicaragua's sex workers for the last nine years. Eighteen of its members have become volunteer legal aid advisers to support their members on occasions such as this and they were accredited as legal facilitators by the Supreme Court of Justice in 2015. They became unionized in 2016 and joined the self-employed sector union CTCP-FNT

The Girasoles coordinator, María Elena Dávila, said that the outcome of the case was “historic and the first successful case of this kind we have managed. It proves that sex workers have labour rights just like any other workers.”

Girasoles' eighteen legal aid advisers have studied Nicaragua's laws and received training from legal experts. They can provide mediation on many legal issues and not only to sex workers. In their first year of operation they attended 412 cases, 102 of which were sex workers.

The Nicaraguan filmakers, Camila Films, recently released an 80 minute documentary about the work of the Girasoles legal advisers, thought to be the first experience of its kind in the world.

You can find out more about the Girasoles documentary here:

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