Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyrgyzstan proposes a bill to criminilize sex workers in Kyrgyzstan, establishing administrative liability for sex work.
As stated in the justification letter of the draft law “On amendments to the Code of the Kyrgyz Republic on administrative liability”, Ministry of Internal Affairs states that
“prostitution as an antisocial phenomenon is widespread in Kyrgyzstan”.
The justification letter also states that
“If it was previously widespread usually in large cities, in recent years it has become more and more visible in medium-sized cities as well. Prostitution is often accompanied by the commission of serious violent crimes against life and health of individuals, which reinforces the social danger of this phenomenon. It is closely linked with organized forms of crime, the latter, in turn, become a significant source of income that somehow generates development of various sectors of organized crime.
Growth of prostitution acquired involvement of underage and even children. Prostitution is often accompanied by the spread of dangerous and other sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection, by the spread of drug addiction and alcoholism”
It is noted in the letter that in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan there’re also penalties for sex work.
The criminalization of sex workers won’t help to solve such problems as spreading STDs, HIV, drugs and alcohol. It can be done only through preventive strategies, including awareness building, free condoms distribution, etc.
Moreover, the criminalization of sex workers will bring stronger stigmatization of them and this can only deepen the problems of STDs, etc. since sex workers in the case of criminalization won’t be easily accessible for programs, working with them.
In order to stop development of organized crime, we have to strengthen the knowledge of sex workers about their rights and help them to combat criminal structures, which oppress them and use them as sources of income. Criminalization will not destroy such structures of organized crime, in fact, it will strengthen them even more: criminals will start to be less invisible, the police will take bribes from the sex workers, etc. It’s clear why the Ministry of Internal Affairs wants such a bill to pass: the policemen will have new easy sources of income: sex workers.
The criminalization of clients can be also harmful. The sex workers would be again invisible and this can strengthen even more the corruption. So, for now it’s better to stay with the current situation, when both sex workers and their clients are decriminalized.
Source: http://ca-news.org/news:1045124/ (Russian)