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Vatican Did not Comment on Advocating for Condoms for Sex workers

The Vatican is calling for clients of sex workers to not only face legal action but to also receive counselling and other help to stem what it called a form of "modern day slavery."

The Vatican's Office for Migrants and Itinerants also called for greater protection of women through better enforced laws on sex workers and trafficking.

The recommendations are contained in a communique that stemmed from a symposium on sex work and human trafficking, hosted by the Vatican.

"The 'client' needs more than social condemnation and having to face the full rigors of the law," the communique said. "He must also be helped to face his deeper problems and to find other ways of dealing with his personal needs. Buying sex from a prostitute does not solve problems that arise from loneliness, frustration or a lack of true relationships."

Women forced into sex work must be protected by the law because they are victims of violence and exploitation and have had their fundamental human rights violated, it said.

It also recommended that women who work as sex workers must be given an alternative - including a home and community where they can begin to rebuild their lives, it said.

It said the Church can play an important role in freeing women from sex work, including providing them shelter, legal assistance, counselling and other services. The Church should also advocate more against what it called the "demeaning portrayal of women in advertising."

During the symposium, which brought together several dozen religious and lay people, the issue of providing condoms to prostitutes to protect them from AIDS was raised. There was no specific mention of the issue in the communique.

Associated Press Washington Times reported in Push Journal 12/Jul/05

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