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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Movement to Decriminalize Sex Work in Gauteng Province, South Africa, 1994-2002
Author:Wojcicki, Janet M.
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:human rights
criminal law
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Women's Issues
Labor and Employment
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Abstract:This article explores the movement to decriminalize sex work in the Gauteng Province of Johannesburg from 1994 to 2002. In particular, the author examines the actions and statements of the provincial Ministry of Safety and Security and other ministries in the decision to de facto decriminalize prostitution using the international language of human rights. The article illustrates that the movement to decriminalize sex work in South Africa in the postapartheid period is not a sharp departure from the past. Rather, as early as the 1970s there were minority contingents that advocated a legalization or decriminalization of sex work, arguing for the public health or policy benefits that would follow. What is new in the postapartheid period is the justification for decriminalization, which now is based on the international language of human rights. Also new in the postapartheid period is the inclusion in the debate of voices that were not heard during apartheid, when the media was dominated by white South Africans. There is now a counterdiscourse opposing decriminalization, based on religion and on the argument that sex work is 'un-African'. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]