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Research: SA police commit serious crimes against sex workers

The study, which was compiled over a period of year, found that a high number of sex workers are afraid of the police.

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

JOHANNESBURG – A recent study on the policing in sex work in South Africa has found that police commit serious crimes against workers on a regular basis.

The report was compiled by advocacy groups Sonke Gender Justice and the Sex Worker’s Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) and uses data from 120 sex workers in the country.

The study, which was compiled over a period of year, found that a high number of sex workers are afraid of the police.

Sex workers involved in the study are between the ages of 26 and 35 working in seven cities across Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

According to the research, ex-workers fear the police as a result of violent encounters with officers including rape, torture, and unlawful arrests.

The report states that when sex workers try to seek justice for such acts - authorities often turn them away.

Sweat and Sonke Gender Justice has called for government to focus on decriminalising sex work which would ensure that workers are able to seek recourse against police violence.
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LISTEN: Pastor speaks out against criminalisation of sex work

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