Association Of Sex Workers Wants FG To Legalise Prostitution
Association of sex workers in Nigeria wants The Federal Government to legalise prostitution, claiming the approval of their trade will reduce the spread of sexual diseases.
They also blamed The FG the continued criminalisation of prostitution which according to them has aided the spread of HIV infection
The association accused security agencies especially the Police of constantly harassing its members and demanding sex without using protection.
Miss Amaka Enemo, who is The National Coordinator of the association, revealed all this in Abuja on Wednesday while speaking to Reporters at a Presentation titled, ‘Understanding the High Risk of Urban Sexual Networks in Nigeria.’
She said, “Sex workers face violence, especially from their clients and law enforcement agents. Sex work is seen as a crime and the police raid streets and brothels to arrest sex workers. They collect money and if the girl cannot pay money, she will have to give sex to the policemen. If the law enforcer does not want to use a condom, the sex worker has to agree and this is why HIV is on the increase.
“So, in this study, all the sex workers we interacted with said their biggest trouble was law enforcers.”
She added: “several studies had shown that countries, where prostitution is not illegal, had lower cases of sexually transmitted diseases, while Nigeria, where it is illegal, had one of the highest rates of HIV in the world”.
Emeno begged that said sex work should be made legal, and the government should not include them in tax payment.
She went further;
“When I visited Amsterdam (Holland), I was able to visit the red light district where sex workers work because prostitution is legal there. I have also visited New Zealand where they have decriminalised sex work.
“When you decriminalise it, there will be less exploitation of sex workers and the violence will reduce.”
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Kayode Ogungbemi, the Director, Strategic Knowledge Management, NACA, said sex workers must be allowed to get married like any other lady since married men also visit them.
“This report looks at the history of casual sex, transactional sex, and commercial sex. If we do not reach these women, the infection will continue to spread. So, we must teach these women the use of condoms and going for HIV tests because if we don’t do that, they will continue to spread it. Even married people patronise them.”