The Archdiocese of Malta, through the Justice & Peace Commission and Caritas Malta, are in synch with suggestions of several NGOs and human rights activists on the proposed reform for the legalisation of prostitution and human trafficking. Decriminalise the prostituted; criminalise sex buying and create exit services are the focal points of a statement released Friday. The Church is saying that these three goals are complementary and cannot be enacted separately, essential for the human dignity of the victims to be safeguarded.
Decriminalise those who are prostituted
The Justice & Peace Commission and Caritas Malta assert the fact that most sex workers are caught up in prostitution against their will and are the main victims of a broken system which enslaves them. As a result, they should not be criminalised or victimised further for the abuse they endure, the statement says.
Make buying sex a criminal offence
Buying sex is exploitation of other human beings where the human person is reduced to an object to satisfy one’s desires and consequently cannot be described like buying a service, the Justice and Peace Commission and Caritas say. They describe this transaction as degrading and as a form of abuse in itself and participating in it often aids and abets other forms of criminality such as human trafficking and slavery.
Create exit services
The Church’s commissions say that many who are caught up in this industry, are not able to leave because of fear, and of the lack of opportunities for rehabilitation. They propose that a comprehensive range of legal, health, financial, educational and social services needs to be offered to support those in prostitution, enable them to recover from their abuse and build a life outside it.
Prostitution is violence
Since prostitution is a form of violence they note that violence can never be regulated or legalised, it can only be outlawed.
Both Church organisations insist that this premise needs to light the whole process and that prostitution cannot be considered as any other lucrative industry. The two Church entities urge the government to hear the concerns enunciated in their document and integrate these proposals in the new legislation being drafted.
They conclude that it is of utmost importance that the state prioritises the human person, in particular, those who find themselves in a vulnerable position prone to exploitation and abuse. This principle should come before any possible economic gain or the demands of particular industries.