n SA Mercantile Law Journal = SA Tydskrif vir Handelsreg - Sex workers and the right to fair labour practices : : case comments

Volume 23, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1015-0099
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2185



In South Africa, sex work is criminalised by section 20(1A)(a) of the Sexual Offences Act 23 of 1957, as amended by the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007. This provision states that '[a]ny person 18 years or older who ... has unlawful carnal intercourse, or commits an act of indecency, with any other person for reward ... shall be guilty of an offence'. Archaically, section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act still defines 'unlawful carnal intercourse' as 'carnal intercourse other than between husband and wife'. The Sexual Offences Act has been amended to explicitly include penalties for people (the clients) who use the services of sex workers.

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