Friday, June 9, 2023

Prostitution: Coalition seeks law against sex ‘buying’ in Nigeria

According to Jonathan Machler, the executive director of the Coalition of the Abolition of Prostitution, prostitution is a form of violence and not a job.

• January 20, 2023
Sex workers used to illustrate the story
Sex workers used to illustrate the story

A coalition of international communities working on mitigating sex trafficking has called on the federal government to enact a law criminalising sex buying in the country.

The coalition also advocated that the government adopt the Sankara Equality model, a legal framework that recognises the system of prostitution as a form of Gender-based violence.

Speaking at a press conference on sex trafficking on Thursday in Benin, Esohe Aghatise, the executive director of Associazione Iroko Onlus, said the government needed to put concrete actions in place to tackle human trafficking.

“Lawmakers should form policies that address the demand for sex trafficking. We need to change the mindset of seeing women and girls as disposable items. Women and girls should be given (the) same opportunities as men and boys,” stated the campaigner.

According to Jonathan Machler, the executive director of the Coalition of the Abolition of Prostitution, prostitution is a form of violence and not a job, noting that vulnerability pushes people to prostitution and that penalising sex buyers would go a long way in addressing human trafficking.

Establishing a task force helped reduce human trafficking in the state, said Itohan Okungbowa, the executive secretary of the Edo State Task Force Against Human Trafficking. 

Ms Okungbowa explained that the task force had secured the conviction of seven traffickers while over 47 cases were ongoing in court.

Dele Obaitan, the commissioner for arts and culture in Edo, added that Nigerians should return to their cultural values and morals that teach decency.

The event was organised by ‘The Gloria Steinem Equality Fund to End Sex Trafficking’ and its local partner, Associazione Iroko Onlus, jointly supported embassies of Argentina, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United States as well as the UN Women. 


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