Federation supports

2017-07-11 06:00

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has confirmed signing a paper declaring to support the full decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa.

Fedusa management says they have decided to join hands with the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) and Sisonke movement of sex workers in South Africa to help create a safe and recognised working environment for sex workers.

The paper was signed at the Sweat offices in Observatory late last month.

Dorothy Ndhlovu, Fedusa’s vice president for social justice, says the sex workers are human and they should be treated with dignity regardless of the kind of job they are doing.

She says: “We support the arguments advanced by Sweat that human rights should also be afforded to sex workers in South Africa.

“We see the importance of decriminalisation of sex work, more as a cultural issue and from a human rights and dignity aspect point of view.

“Our Constitution makes it clear that every human has rights and no-one is allowed to violate them. Sex work is the kind of job they do to survive and they are not breaking any law. They have children and families to support like any of us.

“We live in poverty, there are no jobs and because they chose a kind of job we are not familiar with, that does not mean we should discriminate.

“We can just have an input to improve and change the manner in which the job is perceived and conducted,” says Ndhlovu.

She emphasises that the federation will fight for the safety and accessibility of necessary facilities for sex workers without being judged. Ndhlovu says over the years these workers have fallen victim to crime.

Duduzile Dlamini, a Sweat and Sisonke mobiliser, says: “Fedusa has taken a step in the right direction to see sex work as work and to protect the oldest profession in the world. Hopefully other unions will follow these steps and review their policies and support all workers, which include sex workers.”

Recently, Sisonke also celebrated the launch of its first local clinic that will provide in the medical needs of sex workers and their families in a safe environment without being judged.

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