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Will sex work remains on the wrong side of the law?

The much-anticipated Report on Sexual Offences: Adult Prostitution, released by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha has received much criticism from sex workers advocacy group Sweat (Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce).

Principal State Law Adviser at South African Law Reform, Dellen Clark says the report offers two options.

The first being 'to retain a criminalised setting with the option of diversion'. This means that an opportunity to voluntarily divert and to receive services through that mechanism is provided.

Secondly, it offers the partial criminalisation of adult prostitution where buyers, pimps, brothel owners would remain criminalised but not the person providing the sexual services.

This means sex workers' profession remains on the wrong side of the law.

We're acknowledging the vulnerability of the person as a victim in this scenario.

Dellen Clark, Principal State Law Adviser at South African Law Reform

Clark says the report is heavily reliant on public input. She says they received over 2600 submissions from a variety of people which covered a wide spectrum.

We do intensive comparison research, we do take note of the inputs we received.

Dellen Clark, Principal State Law Adviser at South African Law Reform

If one looks comparatively, there's only one country at this moment that has partial criminalised system and that is Senegal.

Dellen Clark, Principal State Law Adviser at South African Law Reform

To hear more of this discussion, listen below:

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