Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro has spoken out about the discrimination against sex workers in daily tasks such as buying a home while supporting non-discrimination policies in Colombia’s capital, local media reported on Thursday.
Mayor Petro met with sex workers and government officials in a council meeting on Wednesday where he urged the community to strengthen care programs and non-discrimination policies that will allow better access to social services such as implementing savings accounts and purchasing properties for stigmatized groups.
While the council was aimed at promoting dialogue for sex workers in the city, Petro also made clear that strengthening programs and treatment for all vulnerable populations in Bogota was a high priority, according to Bogota’s Santa Fe Radio.
Bogota’s mayor added that he had received complaints of mid-level officials who had created and enabled public policies and practices that discriminated against at-risk populations in the city such as sex workers. Such practices have prevented the work of social programs such as “Bogota Humana,” a city-wide policy plan to end segregation and discrimination in the city.
“I ask all officials to not delegate projects to those who will end up destroying our programs because there is a social reality that our public workers need to evaluate, and this is to not discriminate,” Petro said to the council.
Petro highlighted his hope that the dialogue would allow at-risk populations to speak freely on the real concerns and suggestions they have regarding the programs and policies that affect their daily life in the city.
“In these types of events, what is sought is to listen to these communities as they raise their issues and concerns to the District,” Petro said, adding, “it is useless to call up the people who have benefited from the policies, plans and programs of Bogota Humana and have them speak nicely about the administration.”