15 Feb 2010

New Fiji drive against prostitution a threat to safety of sex workers

2:50 pm on 15 February 2010

A women's group in Fiji says the new drive against prostitution and related offences brought in by the crimes decree will further criminalise sex work.

Prostitution has always been illegal in Fiji, but only the sex workers were held accountable in the past.

The powers brought in this month have widened the law to cover the client and all those making money from the transactions.

A spokesperson for the group, Women's Action for Change, Peni Moore, says the decree will make life a lot harder for sex workers.

"The major problem for sex workers in Fiji has always been police brutality, so of course with the crime decree the police have even more powers. The concern is also that when you criminalise something, things go underground, so it means that it will be more hidden and thus less safe for sex workers."

Peni Moore says they will lobby the interim government to try and modify the decree.