The rule against sex workers of Mérida, unconstitutional says Court

Reiterates that the regulation is stigmatizing and violates the right to work

By unanimous vote, and when resolving the appeal for review 216/2020, the Collegiate Court in Civil and Administrative Matters of the Fourteenth Circuit, based in Mérida, Yucatán, confirmed, through a resolution dated April 28 of this year, that the Article 15, section VI of the Police and Good Government Regulation of the City of Mérida that sanctions sex work on public roads, issued by the City Council of this city, was contrary to articles 1 and 5 of the Federal Constitution that establish the right to non-discrimination and to work, respectively.

The Amparo in question was presented by 16 sex workers from the center of the city of Mérida in the face of the constant operations of the municipal police of this city that resulted in violations of their human rights and that is supported by the aforementioned article 15 section VI of the Regulation of Police and good Government of the municipality of Mérida that sanctions sex work in the streets.

At the time, the Third District Judge, when granting protection to sex workers, considered that section VI of Article 15 of the aforementioned Regulation, that sanctioning sex work in the streets generated discrimination against people who engage in sex work. this work, thereby violating the right to equal work protected by article 5 of the Constitution, which is why the aforementioned regulation was unconstitutional and ordering the City Council, the Municipal President, the Municipal Secretary of Government, and the Director of the Police of Mérida, that do not apply section VI of article 15 of the aforementioned municipal regulations to sex workers, with which they can carry out their work without any type of restriction on the part of the municipal authorities.

Faced with this resolution, the authorities of the Municipality: City Council, Municipal President, Secretary, and Director of the municipal Police, presented appeals for review, challenging what was indicated by the Judge. Said appeals were filed in the Collegiate Court for Civil and Administrative Matters, whose magistrates, when resolving the challenges, determined to confirm the criteria argued by the Judge to declare the sanction of sex work on public roads unconstitutional.

The magistrates, in their confirmatory resolution, reiterated that section VI of article 15 of the municipal regulations, “is a stigmatizing norm, because it projects a discriminatory message against a certain category of subjects, in the species, people who voluntarily dedicate themselves to provide sexual services that the contested norm qualifies as an ‘attack on the dignity of persons’ when sex work is carried out or promoted on public roads, in such a way that the people who are engaged in that work or trade, suffer an affectation generated by the value part of the standard “

This resolution, in addition to forcing the municipal authorities to de-apply and exclude from the norm section VI of article 15 of the Regulation for the benefit of the workers who presented the Amparo, opens the way for other sex workers to challenge it to guarantee their right to work. But above all, it makes visible the absence of public policies by the municipality to address the issue of sex work from a human rights perspective and where the dignity of those who for various reasons, generally of an economic nature, is at the center of the debate. they have to dedicate themselves to this work.

In this logic, the absence of proposals that has existed on the subject of sex work by the candidates for the municipal presidency of Mérida stands out. This omission is worrying and, in the light of the resolution issued by the Collegiate Court, it seems to show the null interest of the applicants to work for and with the social groups in a greater situation of discrimination and exclusion in the city of Mérida.


The Yucatan Post