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‘Legalise sex work’

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By MBONGISENI NHLEKO - SWAZI TIMES -22-Jul-2009

MANZINI – Commercial sex work should be legalised.

This was the observation of some smart partners during the National Smart Partnership Mini Dialogue held at Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre yesterday.

The group that had been assigned to dissect ‘Social Dynamics and the HIV/AIDS Pandemic’ noted that commercial sex should be made legal. Vusi Matsebula of the Swaziland AIDS Support Organisation (SASO) said sex workers needed to be taught on ways of their trade, so that their trade could be regulated.

“The trade must be regulated. If commercial sex work is regulated, it would be easier for the workers to report customers that have robbed them to the law,” he said. Matsebula also noted that the sex workers would also be empowered because they would operate freely and generate revenue.

He noted that as long as the sex workers operated in darkness, they stood to contribute immensely to the spread of HIV. He further stated that there was a big problem with stigma and discrimination, which made many people skeptical about going for HIV tests. Businessman Nhlanhla Zwane said there was serious lack of information hence the need for the media to step up a bit in that aspect.

“The media should look into itself on what it can offer in terms of fighting the spread of the disease,” he said. He then complained about the abundance of alcohol, which is perceived as the best form of entertainment, when in actual fact it is the driving force for the HIV disease.

Media Director in the Ministry of Information Communications and Technology Martin Dlamini also echoed Zwane’s words, saying indulgence in alcohol by the youth who are much into social life was a great problem. He observed that strong regulations for the consumption of alcohol should be considered.


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