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Friday, March 6, 2015

Uganda to Fight Moral Decadence Among Women

By Esther Nakkazi

The Uganda government has a package for women on Women's Day; all those found in the act of prostitution and pornography will be arrested.

In a press conference held today in Kampala, Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo, the minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, said the Uganda government has made strides in efforts to curb this 'evil'.

Prostitution is defined as the practice of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment or some other benefit. It is sometimes described as commercial sex. People who are engaged in this field are called prostitutes.

The Uganda’s Penal Code Act 1950 (138 & 139) defines a “prostitute” as a person who, in public or elsewhere, regularly or habitually holds himself or herself out as available for sexual intercourse or other sexual gratification for monetary or other material gain, and “prostitution” shall be construed accordingly.

Prostitution has also been a key topic in the Uganda parliament. For instance it was discussed by the 7th parliament as a controversial matter and prostitutes were referred to as sex workers. However, it was agreed that there is no such term as “sex work” under Uganda's law. 

Fr. Lokodo says this clearly means that prostitution is not considered as work in Uganda. They have also observed that this practice is not only limited to the streets but can also be observed in bars and restaurants and private contacts are accessible. 

So in an effort to curb prostitution, legislation and policies have been formulated under the Directorate for Ethics and Integrity, which include the National Ethical Values Policy, which responds to escalating moral decadence in Uganda exhibited in a number of activities and practices such as Prostitution, pornography, defilement and rape

Fr. Lokodo says to operationalize the above policy, the following laws have been enacted. The Penal Code Act, which deals with criminal law. It provides under 139 that any person who practice or engages in prostitution commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

The Anti-Pornography Act, 2014, which defines and creates the offence of pornography; to provide for the prohibition of pornography; to establish the Pornography Control Committee and prescribe its functions; and for other related matters.

"It is on the premise of the above laws that the Directorate for Ethics and Integrity working closely with the Police has undertaken measures to bring to book persons found in the act of pornography and prostitution," said Fr. Lokodo.

The latest incidence is the arrest of men and women in a Brothel in Bakuli, a Kampala Surburb yesterday Thursday 5th March 2015. The culprits are under custody at the Central Police Station Kampala for further interrogation and charge by the Police and other responsible institutions.

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