South African Government moving forward with decriminalisation policy


The South African Government is considering a policy on decriminalisation of sex work, according to President Ramaphosa. The President told a number of organisations at an event last week that the government would: "finalize the outstanding legislation such as the prevention and combating [of] hate crime, the hate crime bill and victim support services. We will work with all stakeholders to develop policy around the decriminalization of sex work."

Currently, laws in South Africa criminalise both selling sexual services and soliciting in public, purchase of sexual services and various related activities including brothel-keeping and 'enabling communication for the purposes of prostitution'. Sex workers in South Africa have been campaigning for decriminalisation for a number of years, including launching the Asijiki Coalition for the Decriminalisation of Sex Work in 2015. In 2018, sex workers launched a new call for decriminalisation following the announcement at the ANC Conference that they would pursue a policy of decriminalisation. In response to President Ramaphosa's most recent comments, SWEAT tweeted:

"Finally the Presidency has heard the voice of sex workers in South Africa to #DecriminaliseSexWorkNow! We will continue to fight for the rights of sex workers and force political will for our rights to be respected."