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CGE: Decriminalisation of sex work not about religion

The Commission for Gender Equality has urged faith based organisations not to view decriminalisation of sex work negatively but as a step in the right direction to help South Africans trapped in the industry.

Members of the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) demand decriminalisation of sex work. Picture: Sweat

JOHANNESBURG - The Commission for Gender Equality has urged faith based organisations not to view decriminalisation of sex work negatively but as a step in the right direction to help South Africans trapped in the industry.

The African National Congress (ANC) took the decision to fully decriminalise sex work in South Africa.

This was announced by the party on Wednesday, the last day of its 54th elective conference.

Decriminalisation would see criminal penalties being removed for sex workers as well as those making use of their services.

The commission's Javu Baloyi has appealed to the churches not to make this a religious issue, saying that it is a matter of principle.

“The issue is a not about religion, the issue is about the wellbeing and the safety of sex workers who are suffering day in and day out at the hands of the pimps, at the hands of the police and at the hands of those that they are renting from, because at times their profits are being taken.”

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