Dear Editor,

Grateful, if you could allow me to contribute to the above, which appeared in your newspaper on the 21st May, 2010.

While Prostitution or what we might call Sex work is illegal in the Solomon Islands and despite the recent media being directed at this issue, sex work is here to stay and it is highly visible in and around Honiara City especially during nights and even during day light. Recent media evidence also suggested that sex work does not only occurred among the young girls found around Botanical garden, It also happened among women with legal employment, for example, the recent sex scandal at the Heritage Park Hotel and other lowly paid women workers. It is evident that these women turn to sex work because they could not support their family or themselves with what was legally paid to them. There maybe other reasons why these women made their decision to take up this risky business. We need to know why, so that relevant stakeholders and NGOs can find ways to help these women. We also need to find out why Men buy sex from these women. It is also evident that the clients of these women or young girls come from all works of life, politicians, taxis and bus drivers, school teachers, Health Care Workers, youth workers, church workers, Journalists and so on.

Therefore, if Sex Work is here to stay in the Solomon Islands, then Politicians, Police, Health Workers, Women Groups, and Civil Society Organizations in the Country need to consider the realities experienced by these women and help them better organize themselves and develop partnerships with them. We must not further marginalized them because factors such as low salary attached to females, stigma and discrimination, fast pace of urbanization in the Country and increased squatter settlements around Honiara might naturally force young girls and women into Sex work.