The criminalization of sex work has dire consequences for the safety and health of sex workers.
Police threaten sex workers with arbitrary arrest, demand bribes, and abuse and sexually violate them. As a criminalized group, sex workers have felt powerless to confront abuse by both clients and police, and in turn, unable to rely on police when they need help. With sex work pushed underground, recent research has shown a strong correlation between criminalization and the risk of HIV infection.
By Boyan Konstantinov, Programme Specialist, UNDP Europe and Central Asia
I have lived and worked in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for most of my professional life.
As a human rights lawyer, I am always happy to observe when adequate legal solutions are found, paving the road to progress and development in our region.
When Uganda President Yoweri Museveni visited the White House during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit last month, a high court had just overturned his country's widely reviled "Anti-Homosexuality Law" which penalized "aggravated homosexuality" with life in prison, and criminalized the provision of services and support to gay people, threatening progress in that country's long battle against HIV.
Back in the 1990s, Uganda was seen as a success story in the fight against the AIDS epidemic. HIV infection rates were falling. The country had developed strong, community based programs that provided support to those who became ill. They fought stigma and emphasized pragmatic – not ideological – approaches to preventing HIV infection.
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — A Gambian lawmaker says the National Assembly has passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts.
Minority leader Samba Jallow said Monday the bill brings life sentences for "aggravated homosexuality."