JGO to beef up anti-prostitution law

Posted on Jul 08 2004

There is a need to enhance current anti-prostitution laws to ensure the success of the government’s effort to clamp down on the flesh trade on Saipan, according to Rep. Clyde Norita.

Norita disclosed yesterday that the House Committee on Judicial and Governmental Operations is now looking at ways on how to improve current laws that would help eradicate prostitution activities in the tourist district.

Norita also said the committee hopes to meet with the Attorney General’s Office and the Labor Department so these agencies could advise the Legislature on the appropriate measures they need to combat the prostitution problem.

The congressman pointed out that one way to prevent these illegal activities would be to regulate massage parlors in the CNMI to ensure that these are not being used as fronts for prostitution.

“We should regulate these massage parlors. Some of them are legally operating but some are just being used as fronts. They [employees] should be certified masseuses,” said the representative.

Other ways, he said, to minimize prostitution or make it less of a nuisance than what it is now is to come up with laws against loitering and peddling. Norita also cited the zoning law as an effective tool to deter prostitution in the Garapan district.

These are on top of the governor’s anti-prostitution task force and ongoing activities being conducted by the AGO and the Labor Department, he added.

“I would like to commend the governor on that and by implementing the zoning law, police would be able to sweep prostitution out of the Garapan district. There are other ways but it is a combination of a better legislation that would supplement existing activities that would make matters more effective,” said Norita.

Last week, Attorney General Pam Brown had warned that garment workers who were involved in a class suit and failed to get employment during the six-month window period would be subjected to a crackdown by July 15.

Brown said the crackdown aims to weed out illegal aliens.

Reports have it that some of these workers, having failed to secure new jobs, are now involved in illegal activities, particularly in the Garapan area.

Brown said all preparations are now being done and garment workers who would like to avail of the assistance of the AGO have the opportunity to turn themselves in for voluntary repatriation before July 15.

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