“… local health officials did indicate that sex workers would likely see the Project as an increased opportunity for income”
Recently, MP Leacock ignited a conversation on the issue of prostitution. Prime Minister Gonsalves later responded, when asked, and among other comments, stated, “It is just plain wrong.” Some have even asked for Leacock to apologise.
But what is the truth when it comes to prostitution in SVG? Is it one of those unbearable truths that few want to admit, or is it just plainly not true?
The geothermal project –which abruptly came to an end not long before increased volcanic activity was observed at La Soufriere — had as part of the project planning and preparation a 370-page social impact assessment report that is dated April 2016. This report is currently available on the government’s website and on the Caribbean Development Bank’s website, and possibly elsewhere.
In this 370-page document, “prostitution” is mentioned 11 times. Below, are two instances of those mentions.
“During informal interviews of the February 2016 site visit, police officers claim that prostitution is not a concern in these census districts, although local health officials assess it is more common than acknowledged.”
On Page 220:
“An increase in prostitution around Project sites and accommodations where foreigners are residing for extended periods is common on construction projects. While local police did not express a concern (citing that most prostitution occurs in Kingstown), local health officials did indicate that sex workers would likely see the Project as an increased opportunity for income. This could result in an increase in communicable disease rates amongst both foreign and local populations.”
So, we ask again: what is the truth when it comes to prostitution? Is it that it was true in 2016, when this report was published, but now no longer true in 2022? Has the government acknowledged it as the truth, having published this report on its website?
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].
Prostitution — the world’s oldest profession — occurs around the globe, in rich and poor, black and white, Christian and Moslem locales. In short, wherever there is a cash economy.
When major events occur, sporting, entertainment, commercial, even religious, prostitution also occurs everywhere in the world.
In such a poor country like our own, one of the poorest in the entire region and with such a high unemployment rate, the only thing thousands of our womenfolk — our mothers, sisters, daughters, and even wives — have to offer to survive are sexual favours in exchange for cash.
When the Cumberland hydro-power project was being built years ago using a lot of foreign workers and managers, I noticed local part-time hookers congregating at a popular rum shop on the bayside of a leeward town where these workers used to go to drink Fridays after work.
Carnival also attracts lots of local skettels, young and old alike.
Most prostitution in SVG is informal, and mainly free of pimps or brothels, and conducted on a part time basis, although many girls and women work their front full time to pay their bills.
I’ve also seen hookers in town plying their trade outside the bar at the Cobblestone Inn where they specialize in visiting foreign salesmen staying at the hotel.
There are also several guest houses all about that rent out their rooms to mainly middle-aged married sugar daddies and their much younger sugar babies, hookers by any other name.
Most important of all, why should we expect SVG to be different from any other country in the world when it comes to the exchange of sex for money: this is so embedded in our culture that even in otherwise romantic relationships, the male partner is expected to hand up his hand to his girlfriend if he is able to do so. A man who does not do so is said to be “using” the woman often resulting in a quick end to the relationship.
Why this government would try deny the existence of widespread prostitution in our dirt poor and sexually promiscuous society, is mind boggling.
It is indeed sad in my opinion that the government have such knowledge about vincentian prostitutes since 2016 but yet still making life hard for vincentians where prises rising on literally everything except for every person working legally for an honest! Dollar….. in my opinion something is clearly wrong! I do believe that ULP should remain in power however, you’ll are seriously proving to me that you’ll don’t care about the people but only! For yourselves which this again is selfish, wrong! And very disappointing. If you’ll do care, then again I believe in my opinion you’ll can raise the people of St. Vincent And The Grenadines salaries and create more work so that prostitution wouldn’t rise it’s about time when is enough ever going tobe enough
There are also male prostitutes. Hetero as well as Homo. Wellcome to the real world
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