Persistent Prayer and Pressure Needed to Stop Prostitution from Being Legalised
On 28 May 2010, I attended the South African Law Reform Commission workshop held in Cape Town in which the 4 possible models for law reform on prostitution were presented.
Options put forward by the Law Commission for comment included maintaining the status quo (criminalisation of all aspects of the industry), partial criminalisation (criminalising the solicitors and the buyers), legalisation (state regulation of most aspects of the sex industry) and total decriminalisation.
The overwhelming majority of those present were Christians, including several ministries who are involved in the prevention of trafficking and helping prostitutes to get out of this exploitative industry.
Part of the workshop involved getting into groups around the 4 different models and discussing if and how the law needs to be changed to help decrease the demand and improve the lives of prostitutes. The biggest group (our group) was in favour of keeping all aspects of the sex industry criminalised.
The group from SWEAT who proposed the decriminalisation of prostitution had less than ten supporters and only three people at the workshop supported the legalisation of prostitution.
We believe the best option would be to focus on criminalising the procurers (brothel owners, pimps etc) and provide exit programmes (drug rehabilitation, job skills training) for prostitutes. This way, the women who are usually the victim in the whole scenario, would not get a criminal record. This would help them to start a new life.
Research drawn from nations across the globe show that decriminalised prostitution is a gift to pimps, organised crime & sex traffickers and does nothing to improve the lives of women.
The current 2007 Sexual Offences Amendment Act is sufficient but does need to be changed in terms of policing and court procedures for prostitutes.
I believe having many people present who were equipped with facts about the disastrous impact legalising prostitution has had on other countries in terms of the increase in trafficking, organised crime and child prostitution, was important in shaping the perceptions of the Law Reform Commission researchers about general public resistance to any moves to legalise prostitution.
Errol Naidoo (Family Policy Institute) has recently had several articles published in 3 major newspapers. His article, "Entire Sex Industry Should Be Criminalised" was also published in the Pretoria News, on www.iol.co.za and several other online editions of major newspapers. Please write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in support of these articles and add any experiences you have of the affect of prostitution on your community or how you have been involved in helping prostitutes to get out of their bondage.
The ANC may have railroaded legislation through in the past but we can make sure that a Bill clarifying the criminalisation of the entire sex industry gets to Parliament. A Bill has not been drafted yet. The Law Reform Commission will still need to assess which is the best model once all the submissions have been received.
Our Lord Jesus taught us that we “should always pray and not give up.” In the parable of the persistent widow, Jesus taught us that even an unjust judge will give in and do what is right in response to persistent prayer and pressure (Luke 18:1-8).
Are we going to be like the persistent widow, knocking on the door of the judge until true justice is served or are we going to give up and give in to the deceived wishes and worldview of the liberals?
With God all things are possible.
We have produced a pamphlet called "Should Prostitution be Legalised in South Africa?" It explores why prostitution should not be legalised in SA and how ordinary people can take action to clean up their communities. Download here or request copies from us.
Make copies of this summary and distribute it to your home group/Bible Study, congregation and colleagues.
Use this fact-based summary for Letters to the Editor and radio phone-ins.
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11