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ANC’s decision to fully decriminalise sex work welcomed

Human settlement portfolio committee chair Nocawe Mafu confirmed the ANC decision on Wednesday after giving feedback on discussions about social transformation at the party's conference at Nasrec.

Human Settlement Portfolio Committee chair Nocawe Mafu. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Women's Rights organisations have welcomed the African National Congress’ (ANC) decision to fully decriminalise sex work, saying that this will go a long way in protecting women from abuse and stigma.

Human settlement portfolio committee chair Nocawe Mafu confirmed the ANC decision on Wednesday after giving feedback on discussions about social transformation at the party's conference at Nasrec.

The decriminalisation of sex work means the removal of criminal penalties for sex workers.

In the last decade, organisations such as UNAids and the World Health Organisation have called on countries around the world to decriminalise sex work in an effort to fight HIV/Aids and ensure that sex workers have proper access to healthcare.

Sex workers education and advocacy task-force media officer Lesego Tlhwale says they are ready to work with government.

“We’ve been working with the Department of Health in terms of health matters, now we are ready to do the real work to decriminalise sex work in South Africa.”

People Opposing Women Abuse executive director Nhlanhla Mokoena adds: “They can also contribute equally to the economy of South Africa, because they will have access to healthcare and will be treated with dignity and respect.”

These organisations have argued that removing criminal prosecution for sex workers creates a safer and healthier environment, which allows them to live with less social exclusion and stigma.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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