Sex Work, Migration and Tourism


More and more people are travelling abroad or within their own country to join family, find work or simply go on holiday. The 2011 census shows that South Africa is similar to other parts of the world, with foreign nationals making up 3.3% of the South African population (1.7 million people) and millions of South […]

Sex Work and Labour


Sex workers from all over the world have fought to use the term ‘sex work’ instead of ‘prostitution’ to show clearly that selling sex is a job and should be treated as one, rather than an abstract political or moral issue. In many ways selling sexual services is similar to other services like offering entertainment, […]

Sex Work, Human Trafficking & the Harm of Conflating the Two


The United Nations says human trafficking is “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits […]

Sex Work and Human Rights


The South African Constitution and international agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) recognise universal human rights for every human being protected by law. In many countries around […]

Sex Work and HIV


Sex workers are often at risk of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For many people, this means that sex workers are a danger to public health and should be jailed or punished to protect the public. This ignores the fact that everyone is responsible for safer sex – not just sex workers. Many […]

Sex Work and Feminism


Feminism is a political belief system which believes women face many more problems than men in society today. It seeks to change this by creating equal political, economic, cultural and social rights for women. Feminism is linked to sex work because most sex workers are women and clients are almost all men. There is also […]

Drug Use and Sex Work


Sex work and recreational drugs are often linked because they are both illegal in South Africa. This fact sheet argues that most of the harm caused by sex work and drug use comes about because the people involved are stigmatised, discriminated against and criminalised. We believe that government should focus on harm reduction over law […]

Children and Sex Work


In calling for the decriminalisation of sex work, we are talking about the buying and selling of sexual services between consenting adults. No serious supporter of decriminalisation has proposed that buying sex from a child or employing a child to sell sexual services should be decriminalised, even if that child is willing. This fact sheet […]

Routes out of Sex Work


Worldwide, many governments and non-governmental organisations aim to help people leave sex work and do other work. This is often called “exiting”, but here we use the term “routes out of sex work”. These two terms often refer to choices that sex workers make to leave the sex industry. In contrast, “diversion” refers to programmes […]

Decriminalising Sex Work


Various arguments have been put forward as to why sex work should not be considered a crime. Public health evidence, feminist arguments and the importance of removing sexual moralism from public policy decision-making emphasise the social and individual benefits of the decriminalisation of sex work. This Fact Sheet sets out how the decriminalisation of sex work […]

One Man Can randomised control trial in Diepsloot


Sonke’s flagship programme, One Man Can (OMC) campaign, an existing multi-level intervention that engages men to confront harmful aspects of masculinity and to address gender-based violence and HIV & AIDS, with the goal of achieving gender equality, is being adapted for a research trial and implementation in the fast growing peri-urban settlement of Diepsloot, north […]

Bongani Nkala v Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited & Others


There are two possible class action lawsuits being filed by Richard Spoor Attorneys (Spoor), Abrahams Kiewitz Inc (Abrahams), and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) against the 32 gold mining companies collectively comprising the entire South African gold mining industry. The first class is made up of current and former gold mineworkers with silicosis and the […]

Stop Guns In Domestic Violence!


A national study found that more women (57%) were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends (called intimate femicide) than by strangers or criminals. Firearms, which are often said to be brought into the home to protect loved ones, played a major role in these murders, accounting for 17% of the cases seen. Any woman who lives […]