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“Nearly all countries of Asia and the Pacific criminalize some
aspects of sex work, … [but] criminalization increases vulnerability to
HIV,” said Cherie Hart, a spokeswoman for the U.N. Development Program (UNDP),
describing the dangers of contracting the human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV), which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
report called for the decriminalization of prostitution because it
found “no evidence from countries of Asia and the Pacific” that
outlawing the sex trade has prevented HIV epidemics among sex workers
and their clients.
The report also called for euphemisms.
terms ‘prostitution’ and ‘prostitute’ have negative connotations and
are considered by advocates of sex workers to be stigmatizing,” said the
210-page report, authored by Australian human rights lawyer John Godwin.
“The term ‘sex work’ is preferred,” said the report, issued by the UNDP, the U.N. Population Fund, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and several nongovernmental organizations across Asia.