South Africa invites for public comment on decriminalising of sex work

South Africa is poised to become the first African country to decriminalise sex work following the publication of an amendment to the country’s criminal law for public comment. South Africa’s Cabinet has approved the publication of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill, which proposes the decriminalising the “buying and selling of adult sexual services”.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development invites interested parties to submit written comments on the proposed Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill, 2022 (the Bill). The purpose of the Bill is to is to repeal the Sexual Offences Act, 1957 (Act No. 23 of 1957) as well as section 11 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 (Act No. 32 of 2007) to decriminalise the sale and purchase of adult sexual services and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The Bill only decriminalises sex work insofar as it relates to the buying and selling of adult sexual services. Engaging in sexual services with children or persons who are mentally disabled remains an offence under the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007. 

Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the legislative development process, by making inputs based on facts in order to improve the Bill.

Read more from GroundUP:

Cover photo credits: © Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUP

31 January, 2023
Type of Update:
In the Courts
In the News
Courts Systems
Human Rights
Petty Offences
Use of Public Spaces
South Africa

The Campaign to Decriminalise Poverty and Status is a coalition of organisations from across the world that advocate for the repeal of laws that target people based on poverty, status or for their activism.


#DecrimPoverty   |  #DecrimStatus  |  #DecrimActivism