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SWEATGroundUp reports that over 50 sex workers and civil society activists picketed outside Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday.

The group, led by the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT), launched its #WhoSpeaksForUs campaign, aimed at political leaders ahead of the elections next week as a “reminder that leadership should reflect the diversity of the people it serves”. SWEAT’s Megan Lessing pointed out that the picket was “symbolic” as there were no politicians in Parliament on Thursday. The campaign seeks to rally support for the decriminalisation of sex work and the fight for equality of all people regardless of their race, sexuality or class. Sex workers at the picket said they were worried about whether there would be political support for the decriminalisation of sex work after the elections. The current draft bill, which has been through extensive public consultations, would decriminalise sex work to ensure better protection for sex workers from violence, among other aims. However, in May last year the deputy minister of the Department of Justice, John Jeffery, noted that state law advisors had raised concerns that the bill “may not pass constitutional muster if it does not also provide for the regulation of sex work”. Accordingly, the revised bill will be in the hands of the newly elected Parliament.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Liezl Human at GroundUp

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