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Training teams to help with prostitution 

Adeje personnel are working through an agreement with Médicos del Mundo (doctors of the world) and the social services department to open help lines

Members of the Adeje social services department have been working and training alongside members of the Doctors of the World organisation with the aim of helping those who find themselves in situations of prostitution and victims of sexual exploitation, making access to local social and health resources easier.

Beronika Garrosa Martín, and intervention personnel Irene Marrero López and Marisol Rocio Martin, from the Doctors of the World, have been holding a series of meetings with teams from Adeje social services and local councillors to find out the current situation in the south of Tenerife and in Tenerife and how to best open lines of collaboration and assistance for any cases detected.  The Doctors of the World organisation have taken time to study the operational structure of the social services departments locally, and the local police as well as finding what employment alternatives there are available in the borough.

Mercedes Vargas Delgado, the councillor for community welfare and security, said that “the work that Doctors of the World are doing is exceptional”, and that it was vital to know and understand their mission to be able to reach as many people as possible in need of help from these professionals and from social services.

“One of the problems in reality is that many of the people directly involved or affected are isolated through language barriers, cultural differences, but also administrative obstacles, which are an issue for many in what is termed an ‘irregular’ situation.  We find that people are unaware of their rights or don’t have the information they need to access social services”.

Doctors of the World are working with council services via the department of equality and health, and are also encouraging direct intervention with individuals in situations where sensitivity and intervention may be needed. They are opening lines of assistance and information to social services, and, in parallel, are liaising with the department of education with the aim of talking to students in secondary schools and professional training programmes as well as third level students here in Adeje.

The Medicos del Mundo/Doctors of the World have been working in the Canary Islands since 1994 to fight for health rights for women at risk or in situations of social isolation, using different lines of intervention. They work with mobile units, on the streets, in clubs and houses, where they are talking directly to women working in prostitution and women and girls who are being sexually exploited. The women are guaranteed respect, confidentiality, kindness and care.