SABC News.com - Gender group calls for decriminalisation of sex work:Thursday 16 May 2013

Gender group calls for decriminalisation of sex work

Thursday 16 May 2013 17:50

SABC

The Commission for Gender Equality calls for sex work to be regarded as ordinary work. (REUTERS)

Sex workers in Johannesburg are demanding fair rights to operate within their industry. The Commission for Gender Equality says it has embarked on an investigation into how the law affects sex work.

It has discovered that the current laws which criminalise sex work in South Africa have failed sex workers and perpetuate abuse of their Constitutional rights. The Commission was briefing the media in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The Commission’s Janine Hicks says that the correct approach is to regard sex work as ordinary work, and allow the industry to be governed by existing labour and business laws intended to prevent unsafe, exploitative and unfair business practices.

However, the commission says that this would exclude abusive practices such as under-age and coerced sex work which should remain a criminal offence and prosecuted.

There is sufficient evidence to support the decriminalization of sex work in South Africa.

The Commission says it is inspired by countries such as New Zealand and certain States in Australia where sex work is decriminalised and has yielded positive results.

The Commission added that there is sufficient evidence to support the decriminalization of sex work in South Africa.

Meanwhile South African hotels are signing a code of conduct to help protect children from sex tourists.

Hotels will now be on the lookout for suspicious guests who try to check in with under-aged companions.

Fair Trade Tourism has initiated this Code of conduct to eradicate and stop South Africa from becoming a child-sex and trafficking destination.

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