Police union backs sex work

COSATU affiliates attending the federation's 10th national congress in Midrand were yesterday divided over a call to legalise prostitution brought by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union.

COSATU affiliates attending the federation's 10th national congress in Midrand were yesterday divided over a call to legalise prostitution brought by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union.

Popcru's motion evoked sharp debate that resulted in Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini ruling that the matter be deferred to the federation's central executive committee.

Popcru argued, among other things, that there was an increase in the use of children in sex work.

The union said regulating the industry would eliminate the exploitation of young girls.

Popcru said decriminalising and regulating the sex industry would free much-needed police resources to deal with violent crime.

The union further argued that decriminilisation of the industry would ensure that sex workers were regulated and that tax provisions were put in place, but teachers union Sadtu opposed the motion and proposed that the resolution be shelved because it had far-reaching implications for society.

Health union Nehawu, with chemical, energy and printing union Ceppwawu, supported Sadtu's position that the matter be deferred to Cosatu's next congress.

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