The Malta Independent 18 August 2019, Sunday

Support programme set up for victims of prostitution in prison

Thursday, 16 May 2019, 20:08 Last update: about 3 months ago

The government launched on Thursday a specialised program to help those involved in prostitution that are serving a prison sentence.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms, Julia Farrugia signed an agreement with the Sisters of Charity to provide this "specialised service", with an investment of €40,000.

This is the first program of its sort provided by the state with the aim of helping people who wish to leave the life of prostitution. The beneficiaries of this program will be helped to receive knowledge in manual work, basic skills, as well as preparation for the difficulties related to life away from prostitution.

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The service will be offered by the Sisters of Charity who are already working with vulnerable persons that are in prostitution, especially with the operation of Dar Hosea.

The prisoners will also have the opportunity to receive assistance from professionals and to build a relationship with them which will be useful after they finish their sentence.

This measure is only the first step in the planned reform by the Government about prostitution. The main priority of this reform is to help vulnerable people that are victims of prostitution.

Farrugia is taking part in ongoing discussions so as the development of a permanent service for victims of prostitution is developed.

The parliamentary secretary noted, during the signing of the contract, that the government is determined to help vulnerable people, especially the social realities that were ignored for a long time.

She said that the government is working closely with NGOs so as help arrives to those who need it in an efficient manner.

"We are being very careful that what we say and what we do so as not to not continue to increase the stigma that exists on these people," Farrugia said. "Our priority is to give new hope to people that had no other choice except to go into prostitution. The state is starting to give the necessary tools to prepare the prisoners before they go back into society."

Home Affairs Minister, Michael Farrugia said that he believes in volunteering. And mentioned that during the last legislature he had already entered into an agreement with several entities that helped people in need.

"I believe that the facilities and NGOs can do a lot of work. The initiatives and agreement with the voluntary organisation could lead to better services. The work of the After Care needs to continue to be strengthened and does not stop only in the Corrective Facility of Kordin, so as the families and the generations of residents in the Facility do not fall trap to prostitution, habits and circles of criminality," the Home Affairs Minister said.

Sister Salvina Bezzina signed the agreement on behalf of the Sisters of Charity.


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