Sex workers in Nigeria want trade legalized

Amaka Enemo, the National Coordinator, National Sex Workers Association, has appealed to the Federal Government to de-criminalise sex work in Nigeria in other to control HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

She made the appeal on Wednesday in Abuja while briefing newsmen at the inauguration of new report on: “Understanding the high risk of urban sexual networks in Nigeria.”

She said sex workers face a lot of violence, especially from their clients, thugs and law enforcement agents.

She complained that the police and other law enforcement agents exploit sex workers when they raid their brothels or streets where they conduct their business.

Enemo said: “When they are arrested, some of the law enforcement agents demand and conduct unprotected sexual acts with the sex workers who do not have money.

“This exposes the sex workers to the risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”

Enemo said de-criminalising sex work will reduce the risk and the violence sex workers face in Nigeria, adding that the government would also benefit from sex workers tax payment.

The National Coordinator said that in Amsterdam, where sex work is legalised, sex workers pay 160 Euros to enable them to stay in a “window for eight hours”.

She explained that a window is a place where a sex worker stays to wait for her clients.

Enemo said the report highlighted areas and populations who are at risk of contracting HIV and were yet to receive any intervention.

She also said the report spotted places in Abuja where sex workers are oblivious of condoms, lubricants and other services.

She urged the public not to criminalise sex work but to protect sex workers in order to free the society of sexually transmitted infections.


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