Pedro Anastácio, 25 years old, is a lawyer with a Bachelor of Law, currently enrolled in the Master of Political Science and International Relations.
He is a councilman in the Parish Council of Avenidas Novas, responsible for citizen participation, permits, law department and sports.
He is a member of the national secretariat of the Socialist Youth, responsible for equality, rights, freedoms and guarantees. He is also the vice-president of the Socialist Youth’s Lisbon Council.
He has developed most of his political activities in the areas of equality and promotion of human rights.
I do not think young people have a mistaken view on prostitution. The question, because it is asked in this fashion, seems to do a clear distinction between right and wrong. But things are not structured like that, they might have several perspectives of analysis. Particularly in this issue, that in my opinion, is mostly related to morality.
I believe young people are the most predisposed to consider prostitution outside of its traditional stereotypes.
By traditional stereotypes, I mean the mainstream vision of the Portuguese society and most European societies – excluding particular examples – that sees prostitution and those who devote themselves to this activity as having a non-normative, deviant, undignified and repulsive behavior.
It is the vision of people who easily judge other’s dignity, denying the possibility of other perspective and even the exercise of a free decision that is important to recognize. Limiting those who devote themselves to the activity and force them to undergo a social exclusion.
I don’t mean by this that progress is only in the hands of people who do not think like that. However, it seems to me that it translates a bigger worry with the dignity of each person and it does not focus on a rigorous judgement, thereby preferring to see this situation as a social reality to which we must give a sociopolitical and legal treatment against the stigma and the forced exclusion.
It’s in this sense that the Socialist Youth want to recognize this reality, because it considers it to be a matter of dignity. We base our defense in 4 major arguments: the consideration for the individual freedom of sex workers; the acknowledgment that sex work is work, the prevention of associated criminality, the social protection of sex workers and a concern about public health. Therefore, the Socialist Youth has been understanding, for ten years, that regulating prostitution is the best way to give dignity to sex workers and those who resort to them.