Red light Durban

2008-07-21 00:00

The controversy over the legalisation of prostitution in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, which has been simmering since the proposal was first made, has again been fanned into life. Religious groupings have been joined by spokespeople for the major political opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance and the Inkatha Freedom Party, in condemning the idea.

It is now up to the government to find its solution. Criminalising prostitution has never been effective. If anything, the attendant problems of abuse, drugs and kidnapping are made worse. The challenge will be to find the best balance between legislation that curbs procurement and solicitation on the one hand, and on the other provides adequate protection to sex workers, particularly in the areas of health, security and legal status.

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