BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 14TH 2006 (CUOPM)
St. Kitts and Nevis has joined fellow Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country, Barbados, in declaring that commercial sex workers will not be welcomed to its shores for next year’s Cricket World Cup.
However, Prime Minister, the Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that while prostitutes would not be welcomed for the CWC, it was about time that Caribbean people engaged in serious discussions on the decriminalisation of prostitution and homosexuality.“St. Kitts and Nevis has not begun to discuss the matter of legalising commercial sex workers or homosexuality, therefore my government would be highly irresponsible if we were to move to allow commercial sex workers to move into the country for World Cup in that way.”
“This (prostitution) is still highly illegal in St. Kitts and Nevis and I, as Prime Minister would be the first to ensure that the law is maintained and that the law is pursued against those who are being involved in those activities,” he added.
Douglas, however, said Caribbean people could no longer delay discussing the legislation of prostitution and homosexuality since the crimininalisation of these acts was fuelling the discrimination, which was pushing HIV/AIDS underground.
“We must not bury our heads in the sand because these are important issues – issues that have to come to the fore in the discussion of Caribbean people on the topic HIV/AIDS,” Douglas, who is attending the Commonwealth Finance Minister’s Meeting in Sri Lanka said.
The Prime Minister said it would be unreasonable to seek to legalise prostitution or homosexuality in Caribbean countries before there was widespread debate on the highly emotive issues across all sectors of society.
“I believe the governments have to respond to show leadership. That leadership means the time is now op open discussions on human sexuality within the wider ambit of HIV/AIDS and what it is doing to Caribbean populations,” Douglas added.
On Tuesday, the Barbados government warned that any local prostitute or anyone coming into the country to trade in prostitution before, during or after the international sporting event would be made to feel the full weight of the law.