Position paper on sex work: Commission for Gender Equality

Download this resource

This position paper on sex work from the South African Commission on Gender Equality lays out the reasons and evidence behind the Commission's recommendation that sex work in South Africa should be decriminalised. This resource could be useful for advocacy in contexts where the criminalisation of clients is proposed, as it demonstrates an official acceptance that the Swedish model has failed, and evidences that failure across multiple issues (e.g trafficking, stigma, gender equality).

The position paper states, "... criminalisation of sex work has failed society in general, and sex workers in particular. The criminalisation of sex work is difficult to implement and enforce, and has not resulted in the reduction of the levels of sex work or violence against sex workers. The criminalisation of sex work harms sex workers and denies them access to the rights contained in our constitution. Sex workers are subjected to numerous human rights violations, predominately harassment and abuse at the hands of police officers, and are not able to access and exercise legal or labour rights, or social protections."

You can download this 26 page PDF resource above.

This resource is in English.