27 Sep 2003

PNG church authorities oppose any legalisation of prostitution

9:40 am on 27 September 2003

Church authorities in Papua New Guinea says women deserve more than the legalisation of prostitution to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The general secretary of the Council of Churches, Sophia Gegeyo, says a better option is to raise public awareness about the disease and provide employment to get prostitutes off the streets.

"We believe that our answer lies through education and awareness-raising and through creation of employment and encouraging small business activities. In other words, through economic improvement of people. It is through that there is job creation and therefore we will tke women and men from the streets and they can do other things using their talents."

Sophia Gegeyo was responding to a suggestion made by Henganofi MP, Dr Banare Bun, during question time in parliament, that prostitution be legalised. Dr Bun has since denied any such suggestion.

She says prostitution is an easy and lazy way to make money but it is is the only alternative for some who come from rural areas to the towns in search of work.

She says it's up to the Government, the private sector, churches and the community as a whole to pull together and create training and job opportunities for sex workers.