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Bong Rep. Briggs-Mensah Prefers Legal Prostitution


  15 Juillet      0        Society (10707),

   

By Dorcas T. Gboerreh-Boe

MONROVIA, July 13 (LINA) – Representative Moima Briggs-Mensah of Bong County District #6 says it would be better for Liberia to passt a law that will decriminalize and standardize prostitution in order to reduce health and moral risks for mainly adolescent females.

She was defending a communication when it was declared open for discussion by Plenary on Thursday, during which lawmakers agreed to summon the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police over the “growing” wave of prostitution among teens and school dropouts in Monrovia and other cities.”

Members of the House then voted to call in Gender Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr and Police IG, Col. Patrick Sudue, for questioning July 30 on the subject.

“The authorities need to appear here and tell us if they cannot curtail this issue, then it is important that we bring a policy that will decriminalize and standardize prostitution. Something needs to be done quickly to save the younger generation,” Rep. Briggs-Mensah told her colleagues.

She claimed that the summoned authorities have failed to combat a ‘high rate’ of prostitution.

Nonetheless, her argument was not backed by any empirical data, but only spoke of a few instances of suspected sex work in her community.

One instance she mentioned was in Sinkor where, according to her, she had seen young girls roaming 14th Street during evening hours, seducing men who sometimes later take them to makeshift motels and brothels.

The House chairperson on Gender, Julie Wiah supported the communication, and said: “Prostitution in Liberia is illegal. We passed the law here but we are not responsible for implementation, so let us invite officials responsible for implementation so that they can tell us the reason and how to minimize or end the act.”

Prostitution violates Chapter 18, Subsection 1-9 of the New Penal Code of Liberia title: “Offenses against Public Morality.”

In the communication addressed to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, the lawmaker said it was “disappointing” and “alarming” that the issue of prostitution in Liberia has connected children in their early teens, increased the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, encouraged rape and other acts of violence against women, to include human trafficking and abuse of rights.

She indicated that the act was dangerous for the future generation if nothing is done to beat it back as fast as possible.

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