Meru police target sex workers in crackdown

June 12, 2012 6:57 am


Sex workers protest against harassment in Nairobi in the past/FILE
MERU, Kenya, Jun 12 – Police in Meru have launched a massive crackdown targeting sex workers operating in the town in efforts “to contain the rising crime rate.”

Area divisional police boss James Kithuka said the population of sex workers especially at the Makutano shopping centre was rising at an alarming rate and accused them of abetting crime by giving information and shelter to crooks.

“Though many are looking for a livelihood after getting children out of wedlock while being jobless, they should find a genuine source of income which they are sure they will depend on once they grow old and clients lose interest in them,” said the OCPD.

He called on all stakeholders to look for a lasting solution on the practice in order to reduce crime rate in the area and its environs.

This comes at time when sex workers were demanding recognition and not be discriminated.

Early in the year sex workers through the umbrella Kenya Sex Workers Alliance demonstrated in Nairobi demanding humane treatment by the authorities.

The founding member of the umbrella group Daughtie Ogutu claimed they cannot access legal aid, or health care facilities as some of the illnesses they face are only prone to them.

Ogutu said: “It is time that the society stops its hypocrisy on sex workers; they are human beings and have human rights. We are demanding that the government should recognise our rights.”

Sex workers both male and female were urging the government to legalise the industry as it generates income from which the State can raise revenue.

“We are ready to pay taxes; we would love to if sex work is made legal. Sex workers are workers like any other and not criminals,” said John Mathenge the national coordinator of the Kenya Sex workers Alliance.


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