In response to last week’s arrest of ‘female prostitutes’ in Kampala, the minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mary Karooro Okurut, has demanded the arrest of clients too.
Speaking at a consultative meeting with MPs on the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) last week, Okurut described the arrest of only ‘female prostitutes’ as a form of discrimination.
“We have prostitution because there is more demand than supply, and those [demanders] are not touched,” she said. “When you go to arrest prostitutes, why do you leave out those [who buy prostitutes, who push the demand?” she said at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
At a separate forum, the executive director of Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), Adrian Jjuuko, highlighted the need to treat sex workers humanely if HIV was to reduce.
“Instead of giving services to these sex workers, all they [police] do is arrest them under vagrancy laws… ” he said.
He said sex workers were exposed to sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) which they, in turn, spread to their customers, and consequently to their partners, because they lack protection.
“They are an at-risk community and they need services if we are to address the issue of HIVAids,” Jjuuko said while discussing the post-2015 development agenda and its impact on the right to health during the national conference on economic, social and cultural rights at Makerere University recently.
Source : The Observer