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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Fiji AG Rules Out Possible Legalization Of Prostitution
Official claimed legalization would help in HIV/AIDS prevention

By Mereani Gonedua

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 28, 2012) – Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has denied comments made by the acting permanent secretary for Health Dr. Josefa Koroivueta of plans to legalize the sex trade, which is included in the Crimes Decree 2009.

Sayed-Khaiyum said the statement made by Koroivueta is incorrect and that no amendments to the crimes decree have been approved by cabinet. He said any changes to this decree would require cabinet’s approval and would only occur after wide community consultations.

Koroivueta in his comments to the media said the legalization of sex trade would help stop discrimination again sex workers and prevent the spread of the HIV/AIDS infection.

The Crimes Decree passed in 2009, and took effect on 1 February 2010 proposed to penalize prostitutes and their clients.

Under the decree, those who solicit money through prostitution are liable for a jail term of six months while people caught hiring prostitutes can get jail terms of up to 12 years.

In addition, anybody found operating a brothel, or services which procure prostitution is liable for prosecution with the penalties being harsher when the crime involves people under the age of 18.

Also, anyone residing with a prostitute is also liable under the decree.

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