22 July, 2015, 12:00 am
VINEEL Nand’s suggestion to legalise prostitution in Fiji (The Fiji Times 20/7) may not go down well with some people and organisations who are strongly opposed to the idea based on their religious and cultural convictions.
But let’s be pragmatic and think from the perspective of the beneficiaries of the service.
It is a well-known fact that even average married men are among their regular clients and we are not that naive as to not to know why.
Often cited as the oldest profession, prostitution has been in existence for centuries.
Undoubtedly, it’s a demand driven industry which is thriving globally thanks to its growing patronage.
There is anecdotal evidence that some sex workers earn more money in one night than the weekly wage of a garment factory worker.
Since the criminalisation of prostitution in Fiji, some of them have now changed their modus operandi to conceal activities relating to the sex trade.
I believe presently because of the surreptitious nature of the business, the income derived from such illegal operations falls outside the tax net which is a loss to Government revenue. Hence it insidiously becomes part of the underground economy.
I believe that the same rationality that was employed in extending the nightclub hours (i.e. to cater for the market demand and to curtail bootlegging) should be also applied here. Like it or not prostitution is here to stay legal or illegal.