Aye Myanmar (AMA) participated in a three day meeting at the national Parliament in Naypidaw from 6-8 December 2016, along with other key population networks in Myanmar. During the three day advocacy meeting there were different sessions on advocating for law reform and challenges faced by key populations.
Advocacy meeting with parliament Sub-committee
AMA advocated with the National Parliament Chairperson U Man Win Khaing Than and Sub-committee together with other civil society organisations (CSOs) at the meeting in the parliament. The key populations networks present discussed challenges and barriers faced by CSOs with the chair of national parliament. The object of the meeting was to get better solutions to current and future challenges faced by CSOs.
During the advocacy meeting there was discussion with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) department about the challenges faced under under current laws and policies, which impact on sex workers. The discussion focused on arrests of sex workers, and the use of condoms as evidence to arrest sex workers. The representative of MoHA confirmed that previously they had issued a letter of announcement that “condoms is not an evidence to arrest sex worker” and said they would re-issue that letter.
Advocating for law reform
AMA representatives at the meeting got the opportunity to visit the Union Parliament and People’s Parliament. And they got the opportunity to advocate for law reform and decriminalization of sex work in Myanmar. AMA representative at the meeting said:
“Although people have many reasons to do sex work, the most common points were to support the family and sustain the daily life.”
“Sex workers face barriers in access to justice, health and social services. The criminalization of sex work keeps sex workers away from the accessing the equal justice and health services they need.”
“If the law does not criminalize sex work, sex workers can prevent and afford to reduce HIV transmission and other sexually transmitted diseases. This will also reduce discrimination, violence and arrests, and they will be able to access affordable and available health services provided by Ministry of Health. Citizens of Myanmar should have equal justice and protection of their human rights.”