Engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment may be illegal, but if what the president of the Red Cross Michael Joseph said is true, Antigua & Barbuda continues to have a thriving prostitution climate.
Joseph told OBSERVER media his statements are based on recent reports of women being forced to have sex for money.
“Everybody knows where the prostitution is and where to get prostitutes. Women have come out and said they are being forced into it,” he said.
Joseph’s statement came on the heels of the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report from the US Department of State, which claimed that Antigua & Barbuda is a destination and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour.
The report accused the government of Antigua & Barbuda of not fully meeting the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and not demonstrating overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous reporting period.
As a result, Antigua & Barbuda was placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year.
However, Joseph said while government has a fundamental responsibility as the legal and legislative authority of the country to put proper frameworks in place to ensure human sex trafficking does not exist, society must also play its part.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)