HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST CONDEMNS ARREST OF SEX WORKERS IN ONDO

Our CEO, a global advocate for key populations in Nigeria, Martin-Mary Falana has strongly condemned the arrest of sex workers in Ondo State saying sex workers are ostracized, marginalized folks who are often drug addicts with little or no public sympathy or support, and are easy prey for extortion and assault by the police.

Speaking with the media on the significance of the action of the COVID-19 Task Force, Martin-Mary Falana lamented that amidst COVID-19, they are not seen as an essential part of the society and are not on the list of palliative packages as if they are not also affected by the lockdown.

Citing several places where people have violated the same COVID-19 rules in the state recently ditto the distribution of FACE MASKS by the state government in Oja-Oba. Mr. Falana said “even if they have acted against the rules, I believe they can be warned against subsequent actions. I think they should be granted pardon with immediate effect”

While stressing that majority of sex workers are affected by their own sexuality, sexual curiosity and need to have money, Mr. Falana said it would be better for government to address the causes of what has led a number of women/ladies/girls into prostitution.
Drawing from the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery in the Bible, Mr. Falana said “let he that is without sin cast the first stone” and that no particular part of the Constitution prohibits prostitution in Nigeria.

“However, Prostitution in Nigeria is illegal in all Northern States that practice Islamic penal code. In Southern Nigeria, the activities of pimps or madams, underage prostitution and the operation or ownership of brothels are penalized under sections 223, 224, and 225 of the Nigerian Criminal Code.

The security and welfare of the good people of Nigeria are the primary purpose of government, however government must be lawful and law abiding in achieving such purpose. It is advised that constitutional procedures and statutory processes should be engaged at all times to avoid causing more problems in attempting to solve one.

We must conquer COVID-19 without violating fundamental human rights of Nigerians, even when such rights may be restricted. “Stay at Home and Stay Healthy” and the brothels are their homes. Sex workers live in the brothels and they pay rents regularly to the brothel owners.

Whether it is legal or illegal, they still operate and provide hospitality to many. Some who would have raped our girls and women in our society still see their services as a better option. They are essential! Prostitution is a profession just like any other since they make money from it. In fact, criminalizing it has evidently not been able to stop it and nothing would. Now if government still feels criminalizing it is the best option, then those who patronize prostitutes should also be punished”, he reiterated.

He therefore called on government and other stakeholders to extend their hands of charity to the sex workers in our society.

“They need food and other commodities this period. Sex workers of all genders have been amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lock downs, self-isolation and travel restrictions have put sex workers out of work, pressurizing some onto the streets and into destitution, where the risks are heightened by the pandemic”, he added.

Mr. Falana however commended the efforts of the State government in ensuring behaviour maintenance activities including the provision of HIV prevention commodities through the Ondo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ODSACA).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

Share:

More Posts

K&TRC step-down training for CSOs on monitoring the NHGSFP

K&TRC steps-down training aimed at building the capacity of NGOs/CSOs on monitoring the NHGSFP with a view to improve the programme. The one-day training which took place on Wednesday July 20, 2022 had CSOs working in the 18 LGAs of the State in attendance and representatives of line Ministries. The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development through Kids & Teens Resource Centre (K&TRC) has trained no fewer than 25 persons selected from non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations to monitor the National Home-Grown School Feeding programme (NHGSFP) in Ondo state. The Program Manager of Kids & Teens Resource Centre (K&TRC), Mrs. Abereowo, started the training by welcoming the participants. Furthermore, she noted that the objective of the programme was not to witch-hunt any player in the programme. Rather, to highlight the roles of NGOs/CSOs and strategize for effective service delivery. K&TRC’s Executive Director, Mrs. Folashade in her opening remarks, explained that the NHGSFP is a sustainable school feeding programme that will establish a safety net for the poor and reduce the incidence of malnutrition in school age children (including pre-primary school children). Activities on Training Mrs. Folashade, in her presentation explained that the scope of the

STBLCP Review Meeting to end Tuberculosis and Leprosy

Preamble The Ondo State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (STBLCP) holds quarterly review meeting to create room for team discussion on updates on progress and strategies to end Tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy. Program managers, M&E officers, and Community Based Officers (CBOs), partner and stakeholder in the state come together, to discuss the achievements and further improvement in care and management of TB and leprosy. The state M&E officer, Mr. Alex started the meeting by stating the objectives of the 2-day review meeting on TB and Leprosy. Firstly, the review meeting held was to collate and analyze the state quarterly report. Secondly, to identify key challenges hindering the successful implementation of the program. Lastly, to review the progress made in the implementation of Tuberculosis and leprosy control activities in the state. Mr Alex went on to introduce the program manager and the new chairman, Mrs. Adelabu alongside her secretary, Mrs. Ayodele. Also, the Assistant Deputy Director of Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Falodun commended the team effort to eradicate TB and leprosy in Ondo State. Matters on Tuberculosis and Leprosy During the STBLCP meeting to end tuberculosis and leprosy, team members discussed and concluded that, if a child tests negative on

K&TRC’s advocacy on violence against women and girls

INTRODUCTION Kids & Teens Resource Centre’s (K&TRC) advocacy visit to woman affairs and commission was done to brief the commissioner on the progress of the fight against violence in women and girls. So far, the visit was to get her to buy-in and become acquainted with the VAPP (Violence against Persons (Prohibition)) act book. K&TRC’s visit was also done to seek her support in the fight against women and girls. HIGHLIGHTS K&TRC’s briefing was carried out on the fight against violence of women and girls, sponsored by Ford Foundation. K&TRC appreciated the Honorable commissioner for her good works, passion for women and girls. Afterwards, the Honorable commissioner commended those present for their affection towards women and girls, employing them to continue with their good works. Furthermore, she commended their effectiveness in the communities and was happy about the project. She said her office is looking out for viable NGOs in the state to work along with them. Also, the Women affairs will implore more collaboration with all NGOs whose main purpose is to impact more lives and get to meet the target population in the state. In addition, to achieve the goal she requested for the names of community response

Fourth Quarterly Review Meeting of the Ondo State Steering Committee on Child Labour (SSCCL)

PREAMBLE Ondo State Steering Committee for the Elimination of Child Labour held its quarterly review meeting on the 7th of July 2022.  The committee of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) gathered to review the activities implemented to end Child Labour. The chairman of SSCCL and Controller of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Folayan Amos appreciated members present. In his opening remarks, he commended the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Government of the Netherlands. Particularly for selecting Ondo State as a beneficiary in the Acceleration Action for the Elimination of Child labour – ACCEL Africa project. Furthermore, he highlighted the advocacy drive by the committee to key stakeholders. Such as, the commissioner of the Ministry of Women affairs and Social Development. In addition, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget. Without a doubt, he noted that the ministries were happy about the vision and efforts made to end child labour. Apart from this, he praised their readiness to collaborate with SSCCL. Mrs. Folashade Bamigboye, the Executive Director of Kids & Teens Resource Centre (K&TRC) and Secretary to the SSCCL read the minutes of the previous quarterly review meeting and she suggested minutes be sent to