Urgent appeal from SWEAT:

We’ve received notice that the SALRC report is going to be released to the media at 14:30 in Pretoria, Friday 26 May 2017.

With the information below we hope to provide you with the context of the release of this document as well as the tools to formulate your own position. We are in urgent need of organisations to come out in solidarity with us in support for decriminalisation.

Things you can do:

  • Write and release your own statements of support. You can use our Fact Sheets to assist with messaging specific to your issue http://www.sweat.org.za/resources/pamphlets/
  • Support through social media
  • #DecrimSexWorkNow
  • #DeptofInjustice

We have seen a copy of the Draft Report that recommends the continued full criminalisation of sex work. We anticipate that this will remain the same. Our concern is also that government will also recommend partial decriminalisation as the most viable model.

Here are some talking points that will assist with responses:

SALRC Report: We want to highlight that the report is a badly researched, radical, right-wing, moral document that is based on no evidence and has no place in today’s world

  • This report is a result of a process that started 20 years ago and therefore is completely out of date (and has been on the desk of the Deputy Minister of Justice since 2014)
  • This report ignores all human rights and public health research
  • This report imposes a moral crusade led by one individual in SALRC (we have this on good authority)
  • SALRC is a chaotic institution that did not have commissioners for a number of years
  • This is another example of state systems failure to address violence against women and not listen to evidence and the voices of women

Department of Justice: DoJ is scrambling to salvage their reputation in the current context where they have done nothing to deal with violence against women

  • DoJ have yet again failed and not listened to what women want in this country
  • Hundreds of sex workers have died since DoJ received this report in 2014. Their failure to act has been a death sentence to sex workers.
  • We suspect that this is a PR attempt on the part of the DoJ to rescue their flailing reputation in the light of the last month of horrible violence against women

Swedish Model: The Swedish Model is not a radical departure from what we have now. Criminalising clients doesn’t work now as it is.

  • The Swedish Model has not worked in Sweden and will not work in a South African context
  • We already criminalise clients and it doesn’t work
  • We already criminalise brothel owners and this doesn’t work"