In Hong Kong, thousands of people under the age of 25 are exploited by the commercial sex industry. Working underground, this marginalised population faces extreme difficulty when accessing health care, seeking a new job, or returning to school.
In 2008, a 16-year-old girl was brutally murdered by her client. Alarmingly, the media claimed that she deserved this because she was a sex worker. Social stigma means that young women in the sex industry are unable to access their sexual and reproductive rights. Sex education is not compulsory in Hong Kong and there are few platforms available where girls can safely discuss issues relating to sex.
Teen’s Key is the first young women-led organisation in the country and provides a rare youth perspective to barriers challenging young girls in Hong Kong. They have established a platform to advocate for young people’s sexual and reproductive rights, including marginalised groups such as sex workers and young women with unplanned pregnancies. The organisation provides a range of services to young women including counselling, education on sexual and reproductive health and rights, a hotline for sex education and peer-to-peer support groups for young women.
Teen’s Key works with the community to raise awareness of the sexual rights of girls. Through partnership with universities, nightclubs and by using social media they have provided over 2,000 girls with free HIV and STI tests and counselling services.
Photo: Leah Valle/Stars Foundation.