Hanoi, 15 June 2017 – There has been a positive shift in the attitude and practices of duty bearers and service providers towards female sex workers although barriers to access to social and legal services remain, according to the final evaluation of the Empowerment project announced today at the project closing workshop.
During the four years of implementation (July 2013 – June 2017), the project enabled local authorities to better provide social and legal support to female sex workers (FSWs), who still face significant social stigma, discrimination and violence due to the nature of their work. The project’s experience and lessons have been integrated in the National Action Plan on Sex Work Control 2016-2020.
“The project is in line with the government’s guidelines, and at the same time catching up with world trends in dealing with sex work. It has created opportunities for female sex workers to access essential social services that are based on harm reduction and human right protection,” said Mr. Nguyen Xuan Lap, Director General of DSVP.
“For the first time, female sex workers in several locations have had better access to legal service and got to talk with local authorities about their issues. We hope the project will lay the foundation for other cities and provinces to adopt the rights-based method and tools in their work with female sex workers,” said Ms. Le Kim Dung, Country Director CARE International in Vietnam.
As of June 2017, 3 We Are Women clubs were set up in Quang Ninh, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh city to provide a safe place where FSWs could share information on their legal rights, gender based violence and how to prevent it, contraception methods, and so on. In addition, DSVP staff received training on the causes and impact of violence and discrimination against FSWs. And finally, police and service providers improved understanding about how to best respond to violence cases against FSW.
The Empowerment project is co-implemented by CARE International in Vietnam and the Department for Social Vice Prevention (DSVP) of the Ministry of Labour, the Invalids and Social Affairs, and is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
About the project
The project NQ piloted and introduced an empowering model of engagement with FSWs, for replication at scale by the governtment and other stakeholders. The model is based on three components:
• Supporting stronger voice of FSWs, and stronger capacities to lead actions to improve access to services, protections and other benefits via the establishment and operation of We Are Women Clubs;
• Raising awareness and supporting positive attitudes and practices of local policy, authorities and service providers; and
• Enhancing the capacity and roles of local DSVPs.
CARE International in Vietnam worked in partnership with provincial Departments of Labour, the Invalids and Social Affairs/Departments for Social Vice Prevention of Can Tho, Quang Ninh, and HCMC; We Are Women (WrW) Clubs.
Project Documents and Multi-media Tools:
• A hand-drawn video on the troject overview and technical tools, and sand-drawing clips can be found at http://bit.ly/2r0Tgon
• Project impact summary – PDF: http://bit.ly/2s4Wisp
About Department for Social Vice Prevention
The Department for Social Vice Prevention is under the Ministry of Labour, the Invalids and Social Affairs. It is mandated with supporting the minister in state management in the areas of sex work control, drug rehab, post-rehab management, supporting victims of human trafficking, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, which are the legal responsibilities of the ministry.
For more information: http://pctnxh.molisa.gov.vn/
About CARE and CARE International in Vietnam
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CCARE places special focus on women and children. In fiscal year 2016, CARE worked in 94 countries to reach 80 million people. To learn more, visit www.care-international.org.
CARE International worked in Vietnam from 1954 to 1975 to address immediate needs, by supporting local food supply, health care and education. CARE returned to Vietnam in 1989, and has since worked in almost all of Vietnam’s 64 provinces and cities, providing more than 200 development projects. Today, CARE International in Vietnam primarily focuses on ensuring long-term positive change for marginalised groups, especially women, by tackling the underlying causes of poverty, vulnerability, and social injustice.