The government has signed a new social agreement with Dar Hosea, through which it pledges additional support to a home that provides care and support for vulnerable women involved in prostitution.

Through the agreement, worth some €74,880 over three years, Dar Hosea will be able to pay for the services of an additional full-time social worker.

Dar Hosea is run by the NGO Association of the Friends of Thouret, under the auspices of the Sisters of Charity of St Jeanne Antide.

It considers prostitution to be a form of violence against women and a violence against society as a whole, and consequently has strongly opposed plans to decriminalise it along with dozens of other organisations and women’s rights groups.

Instead, these organisations support what is referred to as the “Nordic model,” which decriminalises prostitution but which nevertheless criminalises the buying of sex.

The home helps women who are or were in prostitution or who are at risk of becoming victims of prostitution, employing a harm-reduction approach that supports them unconditionally, irrespective of whether they intend to leave prostitution or not.

At the signing of the agreement, minister Michael Falzon emphasised the importance of striving for a society that “understands, helps and supports everyone.”

“Each and every one of us can leave a positive impact on individuals or families who are going through tough times, and we must do so by not judging victims and what they are going through,” Falzon said.

As it announced the agreement, the Ministry for Social Policy observed that Dar Hosea has helped over 100 victims of prostitution over the past few months alone, also helping them address other issues that they face, including drug addiction and gambling habits.