Sex work has always been seen as a rather taboo field of work. Although it is one of the world’s oldest professions, many societies still deem it as an illicit and inappropriate line of work. South Africa is one of the many countries that has not decriminalized.
A 2013 study by Sweat estimated that there are 138 000 women, 7 000 men, and 6 000 transgender sex workers in South Africa. The sex industry can be volatile especially for workers who may not have the support of an agency or internet resources to sell their services. Those sex workers usually end up on the streets with high chances of having their safety and dignity affected. However, the criminalization makes it hard for them to get the support of the police or the health department.
South African law currently stands for partial decriminalization, meaning that only the person buying sex is in the wrong, not the sex worker. These laws can be quite confusing, however, many sex workers continue to get clients despite the regulations put in place.
Is the decriminalization of sex work necessary in South Africa? Voice your opinions below.