There is some good news for people in the world’s oldest known profession clamouring for its legalization in Ghana, as they have acquired in their corner no less an advocate than the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) of the Republic of Ghana, Mr Joseph Whittal.
The prostitutes who have of late complained of being harrassed needlessly by the police have called for their profession to be regularized in order for them to pay taxes to the state after their work.
The police however responded with more arrests as MYNEWSGH.com had then reported: 17 of these hard working prostitutes committed to legalizing their job – and their customers- including two nursing mothers at Dubai, or Kwame Nkrumah Circle, to be clear, were all rounded up in July 2017; another 32 set, many of them suspected to be Nigerians, were also swooped on by the Police at Abeka Lapaz in November last year; 12 of them also suspected to be prostitutes grabbed by the police at Teshie, with 21 at Awoshie another 30 at cantonments and 45 at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, all in 2017 and early 2018.
These arrests, raids etc, have served to make not only the prostitutes disappointed and unhappy, but as we now know, the CHRAJ Boss too!
Speaking at a forum organized by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Africa under the theme, ‘Decriminalizing Poverty, Advocacy towards the Decriminalization of Petty Offences in Ghana.’ Mr Whittal said:
“Prostitution could be regularized as done in different jurisdictions, we need to decriminalize it and find different ways of dealing with them.”
“These laws were inherited from the colonial English Common laws and they are in our statutory books, times have change and we need to remove them to avoid the incarceration of the vulnerable, who mostly commit these offences out of need.”, he added.
He also indicated that there were some crimes undeserving of custodial sentences and needed to be looked at, while calling for the protection of rights of prisoners, particularly, of remand prisoners.
“Why should we still keep people whose warrants have expired and those remanded and forgotten? CHRAJ should be allowed to look into these cases and free them to sanitize the system,” he said.
“The rights of suspects and inmates should be respected and protected,” he added.
“Government should recognize that it is ultimately responsible for ensuring that standards are maintained so that prisoners can live in dignity and health.” he said.