Include sex workers if SDGs are to be achieved – Government told

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By ANTHONY WESAKA

KAMPALA. Government has been tipped to ensure inclusiveness of everyone even sex workers if it’s to fully achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

According to the executive director of Alliance of Women Advocating for Change (AWAC), Ms Macklean Mary Kyomya, eradication of poverty in all its forms everywhere, is one of the SDGs but some sex workers because of the poverty they find themselves in, easily compromise into having unprotected sex because it pays more.

To that effect, Ms Kyomya urges government to build resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations to reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events that would lead to more HIV infections.

“SDGs are linked to HIV/AIDS because if a client is going to give a sex worker a lot of money say Shs100,000 in exchange for unprotected sex, some of them would compromise their health and give in since she has basic needs to meet,” Ms Kyomya said on Thursday during a worker shop in Kampala.

“When you are poor, you don’t have the negotiating capacity hence the call for economic empowerment of the sex workers so that they can make informed decisions that will in the end help achieve the SDGs by 2030 by reducing on new infections”.

Ms Kyomya also called upon government to include other key persons in various life spheres like ending hunger on account that patients on ARVs can’t take them if they don’t have food and also provide access to justice for all if they are to achieve the SGDs by 2030.

Speaking at the same event, Ms Sarah Nakku, the Community Mobilization and Networking Adviser of UNAIDS, was sceptical to whether government will indeed be able to achieve zero HIV/AIDS infections by 2030.

The scepticism is due to the still existing inadequacies and exclusion of some key populations like the sex workers in their activities.

“We need to do a lot more to end the discriminations. You can’t say you want to end AIDS by 2030 and yet you don’t address those issues like gender inequality, zero hunger and good health,” Ms Nakku said.

SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

They were originated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 to be achieved by year 2030.

Some of the SDGs aimed at transforming the world

-No poverty

-Zero hunger

-Good health and well-being

-Quality education

-Gender equality

-Clean water and sanitation

-Affordable and clean energy

-Decent work and economic growth

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