The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

Prostitution: Pity that Committee lacks experts or representatives of coalition - Coleiro Preca

Giulia Magri Friday, 4 September 2020, 08:26 Last update: about 3 months ago

It is a pity that the prostitution reform technical committee includes no experts within the field or any representative from the coalition, President Emeritus Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca told The Malta Independent.

“I believe that such an important reform should have some form of representation from the National Commission of Equality (NCPE), or expert within the field; if not a representative at least some form of dialogue between the coalition and the Committee. To say the least I am upset and it is a great pity.”

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Coleiro Preca was commenting regarding the news that the prostitution reform technical committee under the Equality Parliamentary Secretariat is in the process of finalising the report on decriminalising prostitution. The Malta Independent was the first to publish the story.

The President Emeritus forms part of the Coalition on Human Trafficking and Prostitution, a coalition of 40 NGOs which have come together calling for the Nordic Model to be adopted, where sex buyers are criminalised and sex work is decriminalised. On Monday, the coalition released a statement highlighting that legalising prostitution will turn Malta into a hub of sex tourism.

“I never remember such a strong coalition coming together, with different groups and individuals from different backgrounds standing together for one purpose. All this work was for nothing?”

The coalition had worked on a report which was given to the then Parliamentary Secretariat for Reforms Julia Farrugia Portelli. Members of the coalition had informed this newsroom previously that the coalition never received any feedback from the report.

She commented that she had agreed on what Prime Minister Robert Abela had told this newsroom when asked on the matter. “He said that we need to help people get out of prostitution, which is extremely important, we do not wish to see Malta become a hub for sex tourism, which is what happens once sex work is completely legalised. We want to help individuals get out of prostitution not promote it. Let us hope that the Committee is driven by his words and that we help these individuals exist safely.”

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