Thorny question of sex work faces incoming MPs

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

New parliamentarians will soon be asked to solve the thorny question of whether sex work should be decriminalised or not.

The SA Law Reform Commission released a Discussion Paper on Adult Prostitution on Wednesday and will hit the road in June, holding workshops across the country on the subject.

Researcher Delene Clark said the Justice Department would write a bill based on the feedback and that Parliament would then be tasked with agreeing on a law.

Sex work, keeping a brothel, living off the earnings of a sex worker and managing a brothel are crimes according to the Sexual Offences Act.

The act bans "unlawful carnal intercourse" which not only includes sex work but any sex "other than between husband and wife". Groups like the Sex Workers' Education and Advocacy Taskforce say the law is out of touch with reality and that people should not be punished for choosing to work in the world's oldest profession.