Commercial Sex Work (CSW) is an age old practice which has maintained a steady growth in the world. It could be viewed as one of those lucrative jobs but with a high risk, it is even believed to be a legal practice in some part of the world but it is being regulated by law that does not only defend or protect them (CSW) but safety measures and precautions which a commercial sex worker should take is well known in these countries. So therefore incidences of abuse and reproductive health care are in a lower percentage.
Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development is a child/youth serving organization whose engagement over the years since its inception has impacted and transformed the lives of many youths in the country. It is against this backdrop that the organization with funds from the British High commission have undertaken the challenge of addressing the Complex Health and Safety needs of Commercial Sex Workers in the western part of Freetown (Red-Light District)
It is evidently clear that Sierra Leone aligns with those countries where gross violations of human right, accompanied by incidences of abuse and a lower knowledge on reproductive health is still a challenge although certain in-roads are made.
This project does not only aim at reducing the incidences of abuse and improving the reproductive health care systems, but has a logical expression of preventing children from practicing commercial sex work. The project targeted five communities in the west end of Freetown namely; Lumley community Centre (Grass field), Murray Town community, Wilberforce Community, Brookfields Community and the Aberdeen Community of which the Brookfields community did the take-off. A stakeholders meeting was held in the five communities prior to the launch of the project. At CHASL House Kingharman road, a one day workshop was organized, as stipulated in the project, the targeted group or beneficiaries of this project are; the commercial sex workers themselves, Police Officers, health service providers, “BRAS” and “SISY’s” of these hot-sports and local authorities in each of the five community. Chief among the speeches that were delivered by the guest was that respect for human right and the right to access free health care facilities stood tall. The chairman of the occasion Mr. Lloyd H. Jusu Esq. affirms that legal actions are to be melted on defaulters of the law and respect for humanity should be held in higher esteem.
The Programme Officer, Mr. Habib T. Kamara gave the overview of the Workshop/Project. In his speech, he said that Lumley has the largest hot-spot in the Western District of Freetown, second is Aberdeen. He further stated that this is a growing concern for the future of this country and if an intervention is not made, the children on those shoulders rest the transformation of our country are going to be affected and infected.
The second phase of the project was a focus group discussion which was carried out in all hot-spot in the different communities. The head of outreach and communication officer, Mr. Edward N. Blake led this process to its logical conclusion. The recycling of condoms, quitting commercial sex work and the desire to live a productive and decent life formed part of our findings in all the hot-spot we visited. The Police on the other hand assured the public that they will from henceforth arrest and charge to court offenders who violates the rights of commercial sex workers.
The sex workers in the targeted communities now know where to make complains when their rights are violated. A good numbers of Commercial Sex Workers (CSW) now turn medical attention to the various community health centres.
Community leaders now accept that CSW are part of the communities and therefore their rights must be protected by all and sundry.
In our view, in spite of the successes to implementing this project, there are still challenges with regards commercial sex work in the aforementioned communities. A good number of community members’ especially religious leaders still frown at this practice. Most commercial sex workers still do not turn up for medical services at the health centres for fear of being stigmatized.
Almost all of the targeted beneficiaries are willing to quit this trade but they do not have an alternative source of livelihood to supplement for the sex trade.
In order to see a healthy nation, government and well-wishers should try by all means necessary to address the economic problems faced by commercial sex workers. Almost all of them are ready to call it a quit provided they have an alternative source of livelihood. We therefore recommend that skills training and business startups being given to sex workers which will eventually see them into new business engagements.
Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development
The Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe (FDFE) was created in 2004 as a branch of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. FDFE gathered about a hundred of organizations Say No To Drugs (SNTD) through 22 European countries. The common objective of the SNTD associations is a preventive information of youngsters and adults on the drug dangers so they can make the decision to live a drug-free life.
In Czech Republic, the 25 participants of the 11th edition of the SNTD Cyclo-run team started in Orlova with the approval of the City and in the presence of 350 children. The race lasted 10 days, passing through 45 cities, covering 1 300 kilometers, distributing 30 600 booklets The Truth About Drugs and holding 130 lectures in 46 schools of 23 cities, representing 4 538 children! Thus, many of them were discouraged from taking drugs and others were strengthened in their decision to never take them.
The media coverage by TV channels, radios and newspapers reached about 2 250 000 people.
The Cyclo-run ended in Prague where the team was received by many Senators and the Head of the Senate who stated: “ Anti-drug education is cheaper, more effective and definitely better than solving the consequences of drugs. I very much appreciate this activity and consider it important. The Senate will engage in it further ” .
The impact in preventing drug use is significant. Those who are informed can resist peer pressure and choose for themselves to never start drugs in the first place. Another result is that when, especially young people, learn the truth about drugs, they naturally want to bring that information to others, thus expanding the data, person to person, community to community.
In France, in 2013, groups of SNTD volunteers in the 9 main cities regularly set up information booths in high-traffic location and handed out about 91400 booklets The Truth About Drugs.
These booklets content key data, briefly describing: Why do people take drugs? How do drugs work? Drugs affect the mind, and The basic facts, with Short and Long Term Effects of the 11 commonly abused drugs: Marijuana, Alcohol, Ecstasy, Cocaïne & Crack Cocaïne, Crystal Meth & Methamphetamine, Inhalants, Heroïn, LSD and Prescription Drug Abuse. The booklet terminates with What Dealers Will Tell You.
In addition, they held 180 events such as lectures, PSAs showings, drug-free pledge signings, performances by artists, etc.
Written by WCTU Australia
Monday, 31 March 2014 14:38
WCTU Australia is constantly in action with Drug Education presented in schools particularly in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. We are constantly reviewing and renewing leaflets and educational materials used in this work. Currently the dolls replicating babies born drug affected are very effective and their "crying" makes quite an impact on students.
The Federal Government receives our letters of protest or commendation e.g. the anti-smoking campaign which has been well orchestrated by our Government and smoking has decreased considerably with the advent of the plain packaging laws and other initiatives.
During 2012 our organization hosted the World WCTU Triennial Convention. The keynote speaker Dr Gregory Pike (Bio Ethics Institute, Adelaide, SA) gave an address on the fallacy of legalising Marijuana and this was well received as there are moves throughout Australia and the World to legalise. His address is available on our website, www.wctu.com.au.
FASD is our ongoing campaign because so many babies are born with this incurable condition and about 44% of women vow they would still drink alcohol when pregnant.
Written by Preporod
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 23:34
As mentioned in the past, we have finished the implementation of the project Support centre for families with addiction prevention. It was part of the broader project (Social Welfare Child Care System Reform - Enhancing Social Inclusion IPA 2010) implemented by the UNDP Office in Montenegro in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. This project was funded by the EU Delegation to Montenegro. Our main objective was to provide support services for family members of substance abusers, bearing in mind their status of vulnerable group with particular reference to children whose one or both parents are substance abusers. The project resulted with an increase of 5% of family members who benefited services offered in our organization.
NGO Preporod implements the project Alternative which is a part of the 18-month program The Criminal Justice Civil Society Program (CJCSP). It is funded by the US State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) through the United States Embassy in Podgorica, and implemented by East West Management Institute (EWMI) and World ORT Inc (ORT).
The objective of this project is to train property crime inspectors to enhance their communication skills based on Motivational Interviewing method when they are faced with offenders/substance abusers. If the inspector, at the time of arrest, take advantage of the moment, and motivate the drug addicted person to recognize and accept the treatment, we believe that this will have a significant impact on reducing the number of problems related to addiction, including the problem of the Justice System who deals with the same offender several times for the same or a similar crime. Therefore, we have already provided three main workshops for north, central and south region of Montenegro. We can conclude that these workshops were very good organized and successful. We obtained important information in regards to relevant interventions and enhancing work conditions of police officers so that they can start using this technique on daily basis. Furthermore, evaluation questionnaire showed that the workshops were highly rated especially when it comes to the usefulness and information quality. Several offenders with substance abuse problem were referred to NGO Preporod by police officers who participated in workshops, which was a significant achievement and showed the level of workshop/project impact.
The following activities are based on the creation of official Protocol that will enable serious and official application of Motivational interviewing technique by Police representatives. Furthermore, we are conducting an on-line questionnaire with the aim to get an insight into attitudes and opinions of Montenegrin society in regards to addiction related problems and treatment possibilities for drug/ substance abusers in Montenegro. This will provide relevant base for further development of advocating campaign of alternative of prison sentence through treatment possibilities within non-institutional conditions through long-term stationary treatment. This advocating campaign is the second objective of the project Alternative, and we plan to develop this idea in the future in order to enhance treatment possibilities in non-institutional conditions for individuals with substance abuse problems.
Written by Drug Free Australia
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 10:50
The United Nations 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs is taking place in Vienna this week. One of the highlights is the launching of a new drug policy platform, ‘Drug Policy Futures’, supported by over 50 NGO’s including a number in Australia. Drug Free Australia was proud to be part of this network.
Drug Policy Futures is a new coalition representing over 50 organizations from more than 21 countries and 5 continents. In addition, there are regional and global partners that represent a large number of organizations across the world.
Drug use is a risk factor for a wide range of negative outcomes including mental and other illnesses, school dropout and academic failure, road accidents, unemployment, low life-satisfaction and relationship problems. Drug use and other social and health problems are intertwined so that drug use is associated with and commonly exacerbates other problems.
Drug Policy Futures bases its advocacy on 7 key principles and a 10 point declaration, founded on evidence based strategies to promote public health, safety and the wellbeing of society, including those addicted to drugs and their families.
"This is a very important initiative and it is heartening to see so many like-minded groups come together to promote drug-free environments and recovery based treatment options," said Jo Baxter, Executive Officer of Drug Free Australia.
"Drug use not only affects the drug user, but sadly has serious consequences for families, relationships and community as a whole. It impacts all regions of the world, and threatens the right to healthy futures of the young and future generations " Ms Baxter added.
"Drug use is particularly harmful to youth since use normally begins in adolescence and can have profound negative impact on the developing brain. This is recognised at the highest decision making levels in the United Nations and was very ably expressed today by Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office of Drug Control. He said in a meeting with NGO’s, that the legalization and normalization of marijuana creates grave concerns for drug policy since it is a gateway drug and because there is much scientific evidence of its harms to the developing brain, " said Ms Baxter.
There will be opportunities for collaborative efforts with Drug Policy Futures as we work to support the international drug treaties and the Convention of the Rights of the Child in the coming months. For more information on Drug Policy Futures go to: www.drugpolicyfutures.org
Drug Free Australia 1 Collingrove Avenue Broadview, SA 5083
Written by Mary Brett
Monday, 17 February 2014 17:32
The clamour for medical cannabis goes back a long way and has much more to do with self-interest than any empathy with people who are ill. It is emotional blackmail and unfortunately too many people are being hoodwinked. Read the article by Mary Brett