Malawi law to protect sex work

2009-10-23 08:31

Lilongwe - Malawi is preparing a law to protect sex workers against abuse by clients in a move that could help fight HIV/Aids which has ravaged the southern African nation in the last two decades.

Gender and Community Development Minister Patricia Kaliati told Reuters that the bill was being finalised before it went to parliament to be passed into law.

"We want to take them off the streets, let them enjoy sex from their homes, and protect them against abuse and Aids," Kaliati said.

She did not say how the new law would achieve this, but denied that the government wanted to legalise prostitution in a deeply religious and conservative country.

Aids in Malawi, whose population is around 13 million, has killed over 800 000 people since it was first reported in 1985, leaving more than one million orphans.

But prevention work has lowered the overall prevalence rate to 12% from 14%, and greater access to free medicine has helped to reduce the number of people dying from HIV related illnesses by 70%.

Reacting to the proposed bill, a leading human rights activist warned the government against legalising prostitution.

"Malawi is a faith-based country with all forms of religions whose beliefs condemn prostitution; therefore we must not forget who we are, culturally and morally," said Mavuto Bamusi.

But Kaliati said that the government's intention was only to protect the interests of the sex workers.

"This does not by any means mean that we are legalising the trade... we are just trying to empower this vulnerable group against abuse," she said.

Malawi's major cities have seen an increase in prostitution in recent years with girls as young as 12 years involved.

Read more on:    malawi  |  southern africa  |  hiv aids  |  prostitution
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come back into focus. You may get a second chance to say what needs to be said. The important focus today is to not...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.