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By Citizen Reporter


Govt to hold consultative meetings on possible decriminalisation of sex work

Currently, the buying and selling of sexual services are criminalised in South Africa.

The department of justice and constitutional development (DJCD) will on Wednesday begin engagements with representatives of the pro-decriminalisation sex work sector.

This as the department explores the subject after the South African Law Reform Commission released its Report on Adult Prostitution back in 2017.

Currently, the buying and selling of sexual services is criminalised in South Africa.

The criminalising provisions are contained in two separate laws, namely the Sexual Offences Act, 1957 and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007. There are also various municipal by laws which directly or indirectly apply to remove or prosecute sex workers.

“The Deputy Minister John Jeffery, will have a series of similar meetings with other stakeholders who are in favour of the so-called Nordic Model. The Deputy Minister will also meet with religious organisations and Traditional Leaders. The dates of these meetings have not yet been confirmed,” said department’s spokesperson Chrispin Phiri in a statement.

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Jeffery said the engagements were critical regarding proposed policy options.

“It is important that we fully engage with stakeholders regarding the proposed policy options, as there are many divergent views. We need to further engage with relevant government departments to ascertain the implications of changing the legislative framework and we also engage the public on their views.

“The issue of decriminalization may be a contested one, but is also one that needs to be debated and a decision taken, as the issue has been one which has been delayed for far too long,” said Jeffery.

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