sex work

Sex Workers Often ‘Easy Targets’ for Abuse

Leigh Davids‚ who has been a sex worker for more than two decades‚ faces the same threats almost everyday; harassment‚ assault and rape and this is the reality faced by many sex workers in South Africa but some do not live to tell the tale.

Issues related to the rights of sex workers came under the spotlight during the trial of renowned artist, Zwelethu Mthethwa‚ at the Cape Town High Court.

Most SA’s Sex Workers HIV-Positive

The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) says that about 60 percent of South Africa’s estimated 150 000 sex workers are HIV positive.

SANAC chief executive officer, Fareed Abdullah, announced this statistics at the launch of a national HIV/AIDS programme for sex workers in Johannesburg on Monday, 12 January 2015.

Sex Workers March Against Police Abuse

In commemoration of International Sex Worker Rights Day, sex workers and human rights activists have taken to the streets to protest the continued abuse sex workers experience at the hands of the police.

They will be also protesting against the criminal justice system's failure to prosecute the perpetrators.

Approximately 70 percent of sex workers experienced abuse at the hands of police according to a study by the Women's Legal Centre (WLC).

Most Sex Workers Abused by Police: Study

About 70 percent of sex workers have been abused by police in South Africa, according to a study released by Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT).

SWEAT argues that the human rights abuse of sex workers is alarming and demands immediate attention.

“Sex workers experience violence during arrest by police officers who routinely beat them, pepper spray them and sexually assault them,” explains SWEAT.

Police Accused of Abusing Sex Workers

Angie de Bruin, a 54-year old sex worker who is tired of the abuse faced as a vulnerable person in an illegal profession, has criticised police for abusing sex workers, instead of protecting them.

Working as a paralegal for the Sex Workers' Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), de Bruin is a regular witness to the abuse of power by some policemen.

She says she became a paralegal because she wants to make it her mission to fight against the violation of women's rights.

SWEAT: Women Lured to Cities for Sex Work

The Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) says it is not surprised more young women are being lured from their rural homes to work as sex workers in big cities.

SWEAT director, Eric Harper, points out that, “Criminals do go and prey upon poor people in rural areas and make false promises.”

The comment cames after Cape Town’s vice squad said females from Prieska in the Northern Cape, some of whom are only 17-years-old, are being forced to become prostitutes.

SWC Trafficking Fears Unsubstantiated – Researchers

Sex work researchers have dismissed fears of a massive rise in human trafficking for the FIFA World Cup, saying ‘cash-strapped’ NGOs could be tagging onto the tournament to win extra resources.

Speaking at a discussion hosted by the Institute for Security Studies in Cape Town, Marlize Richter, a researcher from the University of the Witwatersrand, pointed out that recent research had found fears of human trafficking had been grossly exaggerated in the build-up to the soccer showpiece.

World Cup 2010 and the Legalisation of Sex Work: Postulations and Expostulations

With up to half a million football aficionados and tourists expected to visit South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, and up to half of South Africa’s sex workers carrying the HIV virus, there have been calls for the country to decriminalise sex work to help tackle the spread of HIV. But is this a warranted call? Can the World Cup ever be a justification for the legalisation of sex work? This CAI brief explores the rationale that underscores the proposal of legalising sex work during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"40 000 prostitutes" - how rumours and lies become 'fact'

I have been puzzled and annoyed by the ongoing repetition in our media, that 40 000 'prostitutes' are set to be trafficked into South Africa ahead of the World Cup.

This figure is continually repeated (and in one instance, an anti-trafficking video featuring several South African soapie stars, inflated further to 100 000). This despite its being a complete fabrication, with no basis in fact, and no evidence available to substantiate it.

Call to Decriminalise Prostitution

Sex workers' advocates have called for the decriminalisation of prostitution in South Africa as a preventive measure to contain the spread of HIV during this year's World Cup.

Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce, director, Eric Harper, says that a rise in demand for prostitution during the World Cup could be a ‘recipe for disaster’, as researchers have estimated that almost half of female sex workers in Johannesburg alone have HIV.


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