[Translated from French]
Global crises reveal the weaknesses of each society and the general observation is not shining about those highlighted by the pandemic we are going through.
The widening and persistence of inequalities were already problematic in almost all countries, even before they are now blatant. This pandemic sheds light on long-lasting injustices and inequalities that feed directly on the sources of globalization and capitalism. Over a vast expanse of the globe and for many people, the pandemic will leave after-effects, sometimes invisible, but much more dramatic than those to be feared from the virus.
Vulnerable people and women are particularly exposed during health crises. Women are for the most part either on the front lines as various stakeholders and professionals or already weakened by gender-based and systemic violence present almost everywhere on the globe.
Whether we are talking about the work burden for those who have been able to continue at home or are on the front line, childcare for those who provide it almost alone, the increased mental burden in many cases or violence pushed to the ground. extreme in the worst, nothing benefits women during a crisis. On the contrary, their hard-won rights are more fragile than ever. A growing body of evidence suggests that domestic violence is on the rise around the world and it doesn’t take very far to find that the same is true for systemic violence.
Human rights include the right to life, security, integrity and liberty of the person. These are fundamental rights and freedoms. They also include economic, social, judicial and political rights as well as the right to equality.I
n Quebec, these rights are protected by the Charter of human rights and freedoms. This hyperlink takes you to an external site which specifies, among other things, the areas where discrimination is prohibited and the grounds for discrimination prohibited in order to ensure that everyone has the right to equality. https://www.cdpdj.qc.ca/en/Pages/default.aspx
This Charter enumerates the rights and freedoms of all, but it also mentions their responsibilities and, in particular, the responsibilities of employers.
The Commission is responsible for the application of the Charter.
While Germany, the first country to legalize prostitution, seems to be taking advantage of the crisis to no longer be complicit in the sex industry and review its laws, here exploiting clients are still generously filling the pockets of massage salon owners, escort agencies and other places of sexual exploitation, thus participating, in addition, in the spread of the virus. The government, obsessed with its desire to save the economy, obviously turns a blind eye and pretends all is well.
Why not apply the Nordic Model (the criminalization of the purchase of sex in force for 6 years already) which is very current and relevant, especially in times of pandemic? The only alternatives for many people who are vulnerable and impoverished by the crisis, prostitution nevertheless wreaks the same havoc as before on the vast majority of people who suffer it as well as on society. Why leave the poorest people without financial assistance? The protective measures due to Covid within Emploi-Québec are harming service providers while the price of goods and services increase and their meager sources of survival (cans, food donations, etc.) are weakened! Providers have been forced to wait longer.
To fight, social assistance recipients and people restricted in their access to their aid measures must be patient and able to do so given the number of constraints to disputes which does not give them sufficient time. Why does the state allow itself to keep poor people waiting while they demand that conditions be met in deadlines that are impossible in times of crisis ?! By forcing people who cannot work according to various experts, the state once again makes itself guilty of non-assistance to people in danger and in difficulty!
Their last resort aid services definitely lack humanism. Our question is why do you oppress people so much? Easingmeasures of constraints due to sums owed are already starting to cut back the checks of providers who have debts to the ministry while everywhere it is scandalous that the pandemic is not over. Do they want to laugh at the poor world ?! They ask providers to renew their medical reports every 3 to 6 months even when they do not want to recognize the constraints and then wonder why the health system is doing badly and why the most disadvantaged do not get out of poverty!
The same is true in several areas, including homelessness and the rapid deterioration of housing conditions for many people who, before the crisis, were already struggling with it. The aid measures announced for badly taken tenants are of little use if owners can continue to abuse their privileges. Offering new places to the homeless is useless if the working conditions of the front-line workers knock them out before the end of the crisis, yet, when they were more necessary than ever for their customers when everything went wrong, a great deal party had no other choice but to go and work in a CHSLD, with results that were absolutely nothing conclusive.
During the brunt of the crisis, in one of the richest countries in the world, local buying was encouraged but health and social service workers were discouraged. We have encouraged the sex trade but we have discouraged the involvement of families with their elders. We gave a break and financial assistance to those who had a lot to pay but we forgot those who had trouble affording a sandwich. We talked about solidarity but we manipulated the population to the point where banalities violently divide it.
It was not right, it is not going well and it will not get better if nothing is done. The basic needs of a silenced majority cannot continue to be overlooked in raising a power-hungry minority. At least one generation will pay the price if we do not react massively, intelligently and above all collectively. The lives of billions of people are at stake and the lives of the most vulnerable are already at risk. To wait for governments for that to change is to delay the inevitable and the more we delay the more we weaken.
It’s not humans they want to protect, it’s their careers and their precious capital. They are not alone in prioritizing money over fundamental rights, but if those who pay the price stand up, unite and become indignant before it is too late, this crisis will have at least been useful.
Those who govern us are part of the problem, it is now obvious!
Rose Sullivan and Manon Marie Josée MichaudRose Sullivan and Manon Marie Josée Michaud testified internationally about their experiences in the sex industry in order to raise awareness and lead the fight against sexual violence.
Thank you all for making their voices heard internationally. Share in large numbers.