Call to decriminalise sex work

2013-05-16 12:42


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) called for the decriminalisation of sex work on Thursday.

"Decriminalisation means: repeal all laws against sex work," CGE commissioner Janine Hicks said at the launch of the institution's position on the matter.

"We believe it is the only viable approach to promoting and protecting the dignity and rights of sex workers," she said, adding that trafficking and child sex would remain crimes.

The commission believes criminalisation violates the Constitution's sections 10, 12 and 22 - which protect human dignity, freedom of security of the person, and freedom of trade, occupation and profession.

Hicks said decriminalisation would mean reviewing the legislation, including labour laws, and retraining police officers.

Working conditions, tax

It would include establishing better working conditions, and would allow sex workers to report brothel owners who were involved in trafficking or hiring children as sex workers.

Sex workers would also pay tax, like other workers.

According to Hicks, studies had shown that the term "sex work" was used to describe consensual work in this field, and was chosen by people in this type of work.

Prostitution was a word which was now associated with coerced sex work, where women had no choice.

Hicks said decriminalisation would improve sex workers' attainment of the highest possible access to healthcare.

Studies showed there was a 59.6% HIV prevalence among sex workers in South Africa.

Hicks said decriminalisation did not mean that people's daughters would rush into this line of work.

The point was to remove the abuse of sex workers and the violation of their constitutional rights.

CGE chairperson Mfanozelwe Shozi said its stance would be taken to Parliament, where it would be debated by various committees.

Read more on:    cge  |  human rights

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.