The Problem of Forced Prostitution in Jamaica

Author - Ramesh Sujanani
Author – Ramesh Sujanani

The headlines on the front page of a recent Gleaner (June 24, 2014) almost says it all. “”Sex Shop Slavery -Forced Prostitution in Massage Parlours’” It further develops that the young ladies seeking employment in massage parlours ‘Are forced into having sex with clients’.

‘Forced”?  I am not sure how that would work; I doubt it is possible to force sex on an able bodied woman, without committing rape, a serious criminal offense. The procedure I suspect would involve the payment of some money for sexual favours, which makes the act ‘prostitution’, a common enough problem in Jamaica.

 Surprisingly, that there have been no arrests for trafficking in females, young or old, and not of the age suspected. Nor are there mass arrests and convictions for prostitutes, or disciplinary procedures. There are reports of missing  femalechildren and adolescents almost every day in the Jamaican press, and I fear these children are the ones captured and trafficked; it somehow appears that children who are trafficked, come from all age groups, and it appears they are not found or recovered. This presents a possibilitythat they may never return, and causes a new fear in the lives of parents and other children; and it is typical of occurrences in Bangladesh, India, and Africa among other poverty stricken countries, who suffer almost 15% of the world’s peoples.

  

But we are a small island in the Western world, why is it we cannot monitor the situation more closely? Children may go out via container ships, but they would have to be tied, drugged, and otherwise restrained. Now the rule is a closed container ship has to besearched by Customs or Security agents. What is happening now, that does not reveal the ship’s outgoing cargo?

prostitution in Jamaica
Image Source: jamaica-gleaner.com

It appears that while prostitution is still prevalent, abductions are taking place in greater numbers, so how is this being facilitated?

Human Rights Watch believes hundreds of women, many of them refugees of conflicts, criminal or otherwise social, are being sold into forced marriages and relationships, by various organizations.

Therefore we need in Jamaica, a measure of conspicuous control: Prostitutes, and their activities, their family and children, need to be logged and accounted from the tender age of six. While this is being done, the health and social wellbeing of the person (the prostitute), should also be recorded, creating some permanent record of their existence and the development of their ‘’careers”.

In a free country, no one should be constantly observed unless their individual activity is criminally inclined. The correct, legal authority can only be the State, being the entity that promotes Law and Order, and enshrines freedoms of the person.

So we need to go to the designated authority for a system of monitoring prostitutes, their business practices, their medical conditions, their families and social practices. Otherwise the fear of communicable diseases, acts of violent criminality, and transmitted social misbehaviour will continue to persist.

Hopefully, this monitoring process can track a person involved in sexual traffic, though I doubt it.

  

Most ladies of the night will visit their doctor from time to time. Perhaps this is the point at which to start. Every infection and complaint should be carefully recorded (which I am sure is being done at this time), as the need to pass on the information may be urgent. I venture to say a case of HIV, Hepatitis, and  very infectious viruses and bacteria, may be brought to medical management and public scrutiny; mainly to make others aware for their own safety.

Then the law enforcement community may be aware of the prostitute, and her associates, so as to look out for sexual slavery.

Exposure to smugglers and various types of nefarious trafficking in persons will become more active, unless we institute proper monitoring  and  proactive effort. Personally, I believe contact with the proper law enforcing community should be executed as a matter of priority.

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Juliet Powell
5 years ago

I agree with what is said in this article and note that there is another side to this that people keep omitting. Seems to me that the blame for transmission of sexual diseases are put squarely on the shoulders of the women. What about the men who go to them, who refuse to use condoms and take those bugs home to their significant other plus the ladies they have on the side? I have listened to a few interviews with ladies of the night and they seem to wear double condoms and visit the doc with some amount of frequency.… Read more »

Lyssette Hawthorne
5 years ago

If men just simply learnt to be satisfied with sex at home, then the greed of more sex would be suppressed. I think men should be more responsible along with women to keep sex at home with their rightful partners.

Angela Miller-Tennyson

Mr Ramesh Sujanani, so you want to publicly log the prostitute and their family members names in a public place, including the prostitute’s children from the ages of six and up.

What of the family members, including wives, and children from the age of six and up of the johns that partake in the act? Do you allow the family and children of this side of the criminal act to go unshamed?

Just clarifying.

Juliet Powell
5 years ago

I agree with what is said in this article and note that there is another side to this that people keep omitting. Seems to me that the blame for transmission of sexual diseases are put squarely on the shoulders of the women. What about the men who go to them, who refuse to use condoms and take those bugs home to their significant other plus the ladies they have on the side? I have listened to a few interviews with ladies of the night and they seem to wear double condoms and visit the doc with some amount of frequency.… Read more »

Angela Miller-Tennyson

Mr Ramesh Sujanani, so you want to publicly log the prostitute and their family members names in a public place, including the prostitute’s children from the ages of six and up.

What of the family members, including wives, and children from the age of six and up of the johns that partake in the act? Do you allow the family and children of this side of the criminal act to go unshamed?

Just clarifying.

Lyssette Hawthorne
5 years ago

If men just simply learnt to be satisfied with sex at home, then the greed of more sex would be suppressed. I think men should be more responsible along with women to keep sex at home with their rightful partners.