Combating Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking: Paralegal Intervention in PHALGA’s Brothel

In October 2023, paralegals from GWIHRs undertook a visit to a brothel in PHALGA as part of their responsibilities to provide legal services. While conducting their duties, they encountered a distressed young female sex worker who complained of severe itching, discharge, and a fowl smell both on her genitals and her body.

The paralegals promptly referred her to GWIHRs clinic, where comprehensive testing services were carried out, resulting in the diagnosis of multiple STIs such as Candida albican, Staphylococcus aureus, and E. coli.

During the counseling session conducted by the clinic’s clinician, it was revealed that the sex worker had been trafficked into the profession and subjected to sexual exploitation for economic gain by the brothel’s chairlady. Shockingly, the chairlady compelled her to engage in sexual activities with clients, regardless of protection, even during menstruation, using cotton wool as a means. This exploitative situation was identified as the root cause of the STI infection.

Responding effectively to the situation, GWIHRs took the initiative to house the female sex worker in their safe house, where she received ongoing medical treatment and psychosocial support services.

Collaborating with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), GWIHRs facilitated the arrest of the chairlady and uncovered additional cases of young female sex workers experiencing similar exploitation. Throughout the intervention, the focus remained on the well-being of the affected individual. The sex worker, upon successful treatment and recovery, was reunited with her family.

This collaborative effort between GWIHR and NAPTIP aimed not only at addressing immediate health concerns but also at combating the broader issue of human trafficking and exploitation within the sex industry.
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