OPINION

OPINION: Making Sense of the United Nation’s Double Standard on Prostitution and Fight Against AIDS

I once entered Lagos State, Africa’s second largest metropolitan city after Cairo, at night and as I made through Ikeja, it downed on me the nature of the jam-packed city when her busy streets quiet down in the dead of night. It was the sight of commercial sex workers, hordes of them lining every street, as the car I was in made its way to the park.

And as the headlights flashed on their faces I noticed how unhappy they all looked. And as some of them bent over to bargain with their customers, even as others paced the pavement in anticipation, it downed on me that some of them were in this in order to make a living.

But to what extent can man go to in order to put food on the table? Were some of the girls I saw into the business for the pleasure or for the money? Or did they find any fulfillment in jumping into the car of every stranger, not knowing what may become of them at sunrise? What if some of their customers were actually ritualists on the hunt for human body parts? And what if these customers had HIV or any other sexually transmitted diseases? Or will condom be enough?

The United Nations are fighting fire with fuel.

That was earlier this year. But yesterday evening, I passed through another part of Ikeja and as I walked the street, I came across what was clearly a brothel filled with so many women. Then all of a sudden, thoughts of that fateful night came flooding my head.

That is why today, when I saw the United Nation’s clamouring for decriminalisation of prostitution, calling it a violation of human rights and a bid to ensure the health of all, it appeared to me as hypocrisy.

The United Nation’s tweet that is devoid of common sense.

This raises a lot of questions:

Is a body as big as the UN unaware of the fact that sexual intercourse, whether protected or unprotected is the main ways through which the diseases they claim to be fighting against is spread? Or they mean to say they are unaware of the fact that some female sex workers, ashawo as they are called in this climes, are actually willing to allow a man to sleep with them without using condom for higher money?

And if any right-thinking government decides to fight against prostitution, in a bid to clamp down on the spread of the disease the UN also claims to be fighting, why are the UN calling it a criminalisation or a violation if human rights?

I mean, it is only logical that clearing stagnant water bodies from around one’s living quarters can take care of mosquitoes, reduce the risk of getting malaria and save a person or people from spending money on mosquito nets, repellants or drugs.

And if the United Nations has no hidden agenda or are not showing double standards, why champion a course that clearly goes against what you claim to be in business for?

The statistics don’t lie, even if the United Nations are unable to call a spade a spade. The chart above shows that:

  • 61% of the causes of the spread of the HIV the UN claims to be fighting against is through male-on-male sexual contact. And
  • 28% is male-on-female sexual contact

A society falls when it’s values are eroded. No society, no matter how great, can stand if there are no absolute standards. There must be a correct definition of human rights, else we shall, as it is now becoming clear, lose sight of what it takes to be human.

One cannot just do what he or she wants, in the name that it doesn’t affect the other person. We can go on all day telling ourselves that what one does in her bedroom doesn’t affect the society, but if that was true, we won’t have fatherless and motherless children today becoming criminals at an early age because there was no one to raise them.

If smoking hemp or doing drugs doesn’t affect the society, why is precious tax payers money used to establish psychiatric hospitals where mad or insane people who couldn’t stop doing drugs even if their lives depended on it, are locked up and treated? How about those mad people who roam aimlessly, eating, sleeping and defecating in the streets? Does that affect the society? And if what sex workers do in the comfort of their rooms doesn’t affect anyone, why is the mighty United Nations voting millions of dollars in order to fight the disease? Why can’t they use the money to better the lives of these young ladies, taking them off the streets, thereby reducing the spread of HIV?

According to the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics, the UK economy rakes in £8.85bn from the prostitution industry alone. That is staggering for such a small nation. Now, compare that to bigger nations like the USA, China, India and Nigeria.

Unless the United Nations and the powers that be are directly benefiting from this industry, which is clear that they are, it makes no sense that any logical being should make sense of their campaign.

The questions abound. But the hypocrisy of the United Nations is not another question. It is an eye-opener as to what this institution stands for or represents.

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