NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 3 – The City Council of Nairobi is considering relaxing its by-laws to allow commercial sex workers work freely in the Kenyan capital.
Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa said on Friday that the council was working to harmonise by-laws with provisions of the new Constitution before allowing commercial sex workers to operate without restraint.
“We want to look at what the Constitution says about commercial sex work in the country. We will also look at the by-laws so that we help the commercial sex workers,” Aladwa said.
He said the council will stop harassing commercial sex workers once the laws are harmonised.
“We will certainly find places to have them operate freely without any harassment. These are people who have dedicated themselves to do their work, there is no need to continue harassing them,” he said, adding they will be required to pay relevant taxes.
Commercial sex work is currently illegal in Kenya and those found practicing it on the streets are often harassed and arrested.
Curiously, only women are arrested whenever they are found plying the age-old trade. Their male clients are seldom arrested.
In Nairobi, police and council officers often conduct swoops on the streets where they arrest female commercial sex workers.
When presented to court, the women are often charged with loitering.
Last week, 26 women were arrested for the offence in Parklands and Westlands.