Thursday, May 3, 2012

Legalise prostitution and homosexuality, says KNHRC

By NATION REPORTER

The government’s human rights watchdog wants same-sex relationships and prostitution legalised.

This is amongst a raft of recommendations the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) has proposed in a report that recommends how to safeguard sexual and reproductive health rights.

The report, launched on Thursday, is as a result of a public inquiry that had been set up by the commission to examine the extent and nature of violations of the two rights.

According to the report, the gay and lesbian community in the country, together with those practising commercial sex work, had complained that they were being discriminated against.

They blamed this on the denial of their existence by the society as well as laws that criminalised their activities.

“The government should therefore decriminalise same sex relationships ,” reads the report.

Sexual minorities

Ms Winfred Lichuma, a KNHRC commissioner who chaired the inquiry panel said the country also needed to address the issue of ‘sexual minorities’ as their numbers were fast increasing.

“We need to focus on sexual minorities and address their issues because their numbers are increasing fast and they are in our midst,” she said.

Prostitution and homosexuality are illegal under Kenyan law.

“They should also regulate voluntary sex work for men and women in order to make the practice safe for prostitutes and their clients,” the report went on to say.

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