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Sex Workers Don't criminalise prostitution - CHRAJ boss

The rights of suspects and inmates should be respected and protected, CHRAJ boss has said.

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Sex workers all over the world face a constant risk of abuse.

Commercial sex workers face discrimination and harassment – sometimes on a daily basis – or they are often denied access to basic health or housing needs.

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) as a global human rights organization has a responsibility to assess how best to prevent human rights violations.

READ MORE: I slept with over 1,000 prostitutes in Kumasi - Man confesses

As such, it is right and fitting that it should look at one of the most disadvantaged groups of people in Ghana, often forced to live outside the law and denied their most basic human rights.

The Commissioner of CHRAJ Mr Joseph Whittal said "Prostitution could be regularized as done in different jurisdictions, we need to decriminalize it and find different ways of dealing with them."

Speaking at a forum organized by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Africa under the theme, 'Decriminalizing Poverty, Advocacy towards the Decriminalization of Petty Offences in Ghana', he said the rights of the prostitutes must be respected and protected.

"These laws were inherited from the colonial English Common laws and they are in our statutory books, times have changed and we need to remove them to avoid the incarceration of the vulnerable, who mostly commit these offenses out of need," he said.

He added that the system must be sanitized to accept the sex workers in the society.

"Why should we still keep people whose warrants have expired and those remanded and forgotten? CHRAJ should be allowed to look into these cases and free them to sanitize the system.

READ ALSO: Police arrest 18 suspected prostitutes at New Juabeng

"The rights of suspects and inmates should be respected and protected," he noted.

He however, called on government to recognise the works of the prostitutes and not criminalise their activity.

Mr Joseph Whittal said "Government should recognize that it is ultimately responsible for ensuring that standards are maintained so that prisoners can live in dignity and health."

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