KATHMANDU, Nepal - According to human rights activists, if people choose sex work as a profession voluntarily, the state should not criminalize it.
In a paper presented at an interaction, Executive Director of Forum for Women, Law, and Development Advocate Sabin Shrestha stated that international conventions, to which Nepal was also a party, had established the concept of 'my body, my right.' Thus the government should not prosecute people involved in voluntary sex work.
He stated that existing Nepalese laws criminalized prostitution but remained silent on voluntary sex work. According to international law, sex workers should not face discrimination or mistreatment by law enforcement officers or be exploited for voluntarily choosing a sex profession.
"Because the constitution does not prohibit voluntary sex work as a profession, those involved in the sex profession should not be prosecuted," he argued.
The term "prostitution," according to Ram Krishna Timalsena, Chair of the National Inclusion Commission, is degrading and should be replaced with a new euphemism.
He claimed that 43 million people worldwide were involved in sex work.
Tulasa Lata Amatya, a rights activist, stated that women should not be prosecuted for choosing sex work. She said that the government should implement economic programs for women involved in sex work so that they can pursue other careers.