Date: Jan 27, 2023

Endorsement of decriminalisation of sex work bill

Sex workers are entitled to the same rights as anyone else.

There is a strong body of evidence conducted amongst women and men in sex work over many decades in South Africa (and abroad) that has shown sex workers are an extremely vulnerable population. This vulnerability is underpinned by the present legislative framework criminalising the buying and selling of adult sexual services. This serves to increase the risk of stigma and discrimination, fuels violence perpetration and exposure, increases the risk of HIV transmission while reducing access to the HIV continuum of care, and increases the risk of mental ill-health.

Sex workers come from diverse backgrounds and the reasons for doing sex work are varied. Some engage in sex work as a preferred means to earn a living, others sell sex because they have limited options due to marginalisation. Yet rather than supporting individuals to overcome life challenges and escape poverty, criminalisation may further limit their options and make them a target for abusive criminal justice responses.

Send an email to the Department of Justice confirming your support to the repeal of the Sexual Offences Act, 1957 (Act No. 23 of 1957) as well as section 11 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 (Act No. 32 of 2007) insofar as to decriminalise sex work as it relates to the buying and selling of adult sexual services.

PS: Please edit the end of the message to include your full name, physical address and ID number.