South Africa

Trafficking? Exploring the relevance of the notion of human trafficking to describe the lived experience of sex workers in Cape Town, South Africa

This article reports on the findings of a study of the sex work industry in Cape Town that was undertaken by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) between 2006 and 2008. The study employed qualitative and quantitative methods to gather data about inter alia, the size of the sex work industry in Cape Town, working conditions in the industry, recruitment practices, factors that resulted in women working in the industry, and the extent of human trafficking in the industry.

“Maybe it will be better once this World Cup has passed” Research findings regarding the impact of the 2010 Soccer World Cup on Sex Work in South Africa

International sporting events are increasing in frequency and magnitude. It is estimated that the FIFA World Cup brought close to 400 000 visitors to South Africa in 2010. Little research has been conducted into the demand and supply of paid sex during big sporting events and where the topic has been explored, the focus tends to fall on speculation around human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, rather than on adult, consensual sex work.

Sex Work coverage at the South African AIDS conferences: What’s the verdict?

By Marlise Richter

In June 2011, South Africa has hosted two significant conferences related to HIV and AIDS. The South African AIDS Conference and the 1st HIV International Social Science and Humanities Conference. Between them they attracted over 5000 delegates from academia and the HIV sector more broadly.

As in previous years, I analysed the number of abstracts published in conference proceedings that related to sex work in relation to the rest of the conference content (see article in Gender & Media Diversity Journal Issue 7.

“I expect to be abused and I have fear”: Sex workers’ experiences of human rights violations and barriers to accessing healthcare in four African countries

A police raid

This report documents human rights violations experienced by female, male and transgender sex workers in four African countries (Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe), and describes barriers they face to accessing health services. Through cross-country comparison and documenting sub-regional trends, the study moves beyond previous often-localised descriptions of violations against sex workers in Africa. The study also fills information gaps about violations in male and transgender sex workers in this setting. 

Consultation on HIV/AIDS and the 2010 World Cup

A report by a South African NGO  that shows how wrong the predications about commercial sex in South Africa during the world Cup were. The question is will it prevent disinformation and hysteria surrounding sporting events in future.

Sex Work and the Law: the Case for Decriminalisation

This report  argues that decriminalisation of sex work is as much a public health issue as an HIV and AIDS prevention issue. It outlines several key issues, considerations, challenges and recommendations for policy-makers, NGOs, sex workers and other actors in the fields of HIV and human rights, to help build a supportive and enabling environment for sex workers to realise their rights.

South Africa: Court decision for sex worker may result in state sanctioned prostitution

A decision by the Labour Appeal's Court, to overturn a 2008 ruling by the Labour Court that a sex worker is not entitled to protection against unfair dismissal as the field of work itself is criminal, could be opening up a Pandora's Box.

In effect it means that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) would need to be able to establish a quantum to compensate "Kylie" for her loss as a result of her dismissal because the alternative - ordering reinstatement - may be considered state sanctioned criminal activity.

A New Website From South Africa is a new website from the Cape Town based NGO the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Task force (SWEAT) and includes information generated by the Sisonke Sex Workers Network.  It focuses on the human rights of sex workers and the legal debates around sex work.  

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