16 Dec 2011

Military will never eradicate sex work says former Fiji prostitute

11:57 am on 16 December 2011

A former sex worker in Fiji says no amount of military pressure will force people out of the industry because they're desperate for the money.

The woman, who wishes to be known as Selina, says she and her friends have been abused by soldiers as is outlined in a report released this week on sex workers and HIV prevention.

The report describes how military abuse of sex workers has driven them underground, making it harder for outreach programmes to provide services such as free condoms.

Selina says the military has tried to get rid of sex workers but will never succeed.

"No matter what they they, do no matter how they try to stop it, it's never going to go away. Basically it's because of how life's so hard. Sometimes you don't pick whether you want to do it or not. Sometimes you just have to because you need money there."

Selina says last year soldiers rounded her and her friends into a truck and forced them to stand for hours at the barracks with traffic cones on their heads.