Humour is one of the most effective tools in our activist arsenal, because it has the ability to bring people together from a space of shared connection rather than fear. My eyes struggle to focus. I find myself in yet another fluorescently lit conference room.
Durban — Sex work is transactional and should be defined that way, meaning the term commercial sex work is preferred over prostitution, according to an expert in the field. She was joined by, amongst others, Dr Monique Emser, a research associate at the department of public law. The discussion, with audience participation, included the definition of sex work, the difference between legalisation and decriminalisation of the industry, human trafficking, health challenges and other topics.
Forced to work in dangerous locations, harassed by police officers, and afraid to report violent attacks, sex workers in South Africa urgently want their work to be decriminalized. For years, the legal status of sex work — prohibited under an apartheid-era law — has been a controversial subject of debate amongst civil society groups and government departments. How did you find sex workers willing to talk about their work despite it being illegal in South Africa?
She was one of 46 female sex workers interviewed for a research report on why sex work should be decriminalised in South Africa. Many of the sex workers described cases of rape, corruption and harassment by police officers. South Africa currently uses the total criminalisation model which means the sale and purchase of sex is illegal.
The Sexual Offences Act of prohibits the buying, selling of sex and pimping in the country. The criminalisation has not deterred women from selling sex; however, it has exposed them to abuse, crime, exploitation and stigmatisation. South Africa, still recovering from the effects of apartheid on the population as well as the economy, faces a lot of inequality.
Prostitution in South Africa is illegal for both buying and selling sex, as well as related activities such as brothel keeping and pimping. HIV child prostitution including sex tourism  and human trafficking  are problems in the country. The Immorality Act, prohibited extramarital sex between "Europeans" and "natives".
According to the CGE, the current legal regime in South Africa is difficult to implement and enforce, and has not resulted in a reduction of sex work, or a reduction in the violence against sex workers. Instead, it has actually harmed sex workers by denying them their human and constitutional rights, does not allow them access to legal protection and leads to harassment and abuse by police. The participating organisations highlighted that South Africa has already ratified various conventions in support of the rights of sex workers but the country still does not have domestic legislation that addresses the unique challenges faced by sex workers.
Skye Wheeler, the researcher behind the project, consulted with 46 sex workers in the Western Cape and across South Africa to learn more about their experiences. The majority of sex workers in South Africa are financially insecure black women who sell sex to care for children and other dependants. Sex work in South Africa has been illegal for sex workers since the s and for their cients since According to the HRW report, decriminalising sex work would improve health and safety conditions for sex workers, and even assist in stemming the tide of human trafficking in South Africa.
South Africa should decriminalise the exchange of sex for money by consenting adults. Sex workers also reported being sexually exploited by police and forced to pay bribes to officers. Researchers interviewed 46 women who are sex workers.
After millennia, formal slavery in most jurisdictions worldwide eventually came to an end by the middle of the nineteenth century. Yet, all kinds of trapped forms of labour took its place, among others sexual slavery—one of the most serious organised crimes of our time and historically one of the oldest human practices of gender inequality and exploitation. This chapter starts with broad, introductory remarks on the possible causes of sexual slavery and exploitation as well as what we as a society can do to collectively address this pressing issue.