Justice and Constitutional Development Deputy Minister, John Jeffery released a Statement on 8 February indicating he has begun “a series of consultative meetings with various stakeholders and interest groups to discuss the possible decriminalisation of “sex work.”
The Statement says, “The SA Law Reform Commission (SALRC) released its Report on Adult Prostitution in 2017 (following an extensive 9-year investigation), Cabinet at the time decided not to make a policy choice and felt the possible decriminalisation of “sex work” should be further debated.” Inexplicably, nowhere in the Report is decriminalised “sex work” proposed.
It further states, “Many institutions, such as the Commission for Gender Equality and the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) have expressed views in favour of the decriminalisation of “sex work.” But it fails to mention the inconvenient truth that several other organisations including the SALRC (Commissioned by the Dept of Justice itself to undertake this investigation), unambiguously opposed a decriminalised sex industry in South Africa.
Decriminalisation of prostitution is one of the world’s most disastrous approaches to the sex trade because it is a gift to pimps, brothel owners and sex buyers allowing them to carry out their activities as mere “sex business operators” and “customers,” and normalises the sexual violence and exploitation inherent in prostitution as a form of “work.”
Please read 10 pg research article “Why sex buyers must be stopped and how to do it.”
Mr. Jeffery met with the “pro-decriminalised prostitution sector” in a closed meeting on 9 February and will meet with the religious sector and traditional leaders later – presumably, to persuade them to get-on-board with governments radical sexual rights agenda.
I have learned from previous debates on CSE and the “Single Marriage Statute” that state organised “consultations” are convened primarily to deceive religious and other sectors to endorse its radical anti-family policies by manipulating the truth. The equally dishonest and ideology driven mainstream-media aids and abets the ANC regime in this endeavor.
Family Policy Institute (FPI) provides truthful and accurate information through its weekly current-affairs TV programs on TBN and Faith Channel to keep you reliably informed.
Mr Jeffery’s Statement is misleading for several reasons. It strongly suggests the ANC regime is leaning toward decriminalising the sex industry in South Africa even before it consults its citizens. In fact, the recommendations in the “SALRC Report on Adult Prostitution” unequivocally rejects a decriminalised sex industry for several critical reasons.
The Report warns against legitimising prostitution as “sex work” because it normalises the sexual exploitation of women and girls and contradicts governments own “New Growth Path” policy goals. Mr. Jeffrey’s use of the term “sex work” exposes governments agenda.
Paragraph 30 of the SALRC Report states: “Given the nature of the service provided through prostitution, the core question seems to be whether prostitution should be considered to be work and more specifically decent work in the context of an employment relationship. The aim of the International Labour Office (ILO) Decent Work Agenda and the Decent Work Programme for South Africa is to promote opportunities for people to obtain decent and productive work. Similarly the aim of the New Growth Path is to create decent work that will contribute to reducing inequality and defeating poverty.”
It continues in paragraph 31, “Neither the ILO nor the above South African policy documents have promoted legalising prostitution as a solution to poverty; nor have they identified prostitution as an employment option for poor or marginalised people. Prostitution does not fit comfortably into the international definition of ―decent work. To the contrary, although prostitution may seem to provide superficially attractive short-term financial benefits, it has not been shown to lift women out of a lifetime of poverty and economic inequality.”
The Report concludes its arguments in paragraph 32, “The Commission believes that despite arguments in favour of non-criminalisation (decriminalisation) and recognition of prostitution as work, or its inclusion in the reach of labour legislation, non- criminalisation would not automatically give prostitutes labour or work-related benefits.”
Paragraph 33: “The Commission recommends that prostitution should not be recognised as a reasonable means to secure a person‘s living in South Africa, and from a formal labour perspective should not be considered to be work or decent work.”
Paragraph 34: “The Commission concludes that within the South African context of high levels of gender violence and inequality coupled with the challenge of poverty, women are particularly vulnerable to being exploited in prostitution. Exploitation, particularly of women in prostitution, seems inherent in prostitution and depends on the external factors of gender violence, inequality and poverty.” Government appears to have rejected these warnings.
Family Policy Institute’s (FPI) submission was referenced more than 50 times in the Report. The SALRC agreed with FPI and many others to keep the sex industry criminalised and provide women exit programs to help them enter the formal labour market with dignity.
Paragraph 46 states, “The Commission agrees with Doctors for Life that criminalisation provides a legal mechanism to remove a prostitute from coercive circumstances and to provide her with an opportunity to enter rehabilitation, training and reintegration programmes. The need for access to skills development programmes to enable a gradual exit from prostitution was discussed and supported by POWA, Nation Building, Doctors for Life, the Islamic Unity Convention, the Family Policy Institute, and other respondents.”
For the reasons articulated above, it is outrageous the South African government would even consider a decriminalised sex industry at a time of endemic poverty, record unemployment and high rates of violence against women and children – especially when it claims to be committed to combating Gender Based Violence and inequality in South Africa.
Mr Jeffrey selectively highlights the views of government funded agencies like the ‘Commission for Gender Equality’ and SANAC but omits to mention the majority of citizens and civil-society organisations that participated in the SALRC investigation who strongly oppose a decriminalised sex industry because of the widespread criminality linked to it.
The SA government has failed to create the decent and productive jobs it promised for decades. It now resorts to dismissing and distorting the well-researched findings of the SALRC investigation commissioned by its own Justice Department because it doesn’t fit its sexual rights agenda – driven and funded by UN agencies and liberal foreign governments.
Consequently, it appears a key component of the ANC government’s job creation strategy is the full decriminalisation of the sex industry so tens of thousands of vulnerable women and children can be bought and sold (and taxed) like chattel in this dehumanising flesh trade.
In 2009 FPI compiled and published international research data on prostitution entitled, “Why Prostitution Must Not Be Decriminalised Or Legalised In South Africa.” It formed part of our efforts to disrupt the push for legalised prostitution for the World Cup Tournament in 2010.
I flew to Copenhagen, Denmark in 2010 to meet with Gunilla Ekberg – a Swedish expert on prostitution – to solicit her help to refute the arguments for decriminalised prostitution in SA.
Ekberg warned, “What are the effects of prostitution on the women in prostitution as well as society at large? Prostitution doesn‘t just have individual impacts on women in prostitution. It impacts all women in that society. If you have a country that thinks it‘s appropriate and acceptable that women are to be for sale then you normalize the idea that men have the right to buy and sexually exploit not just a particularly marginalized subclass of women, but all of us,” Gunilla Ekberg – Abolishing Prostitution: The Swedish Solution.
Research indicates the links between prostitution and organised crime are never broken even when the sex industry is legalised or decriminalised. In fact, decriminalised prostitution significantly expands the sex industry and facilitates and promotes sex trafficking.
Research also show child prostitution increases significantly when the sex industry is decriminalised. That’s why this is the most disastrous policy for South African society. As the SALRC Report warns, the already high rates of unemployment, poverty and exploitation and abuse of women and children makes decriminalised prostitution a recipe for disaster.
All responsible citizens must reject this disastrous policy proposal by a corrupt and clueless government. The Church in particular must boldly resist this destructive agenda and actively defend and protect vulnerable women & children from state sanctioned sexual slavery.
FPI must urgently intensify efforts to mobilise citizens and the Church through a nationwide communications campaign – to equip religious and civil society leaders and citizens with the verifiable facts to defeat CSE & SOGI in schools, redefined marriage in the “Single Marriage Statute,” Hate Crimes Laws and the social suicide of decriminalised prostitution.
Date published: 15/02/2022
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