Asijiki Coalition Sex Worker Promise Campaign

In 2016, acting in his capacity as Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa launched the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) ‘National Sex Work Sector Plan 2016-2019’ and presented the leader of the Sex Work Sector, Ms Kholi Buthelezi, with a sunflower as a symbol of his solidarity to decriminalise sex work.

Since then, the South Africa’s National Sex Worker HIV, TB AND STI Plan: 2019-2022 was launched. The pledge for decriminalisation is reconfirmed in this Plan with clear direction on the need for law reform and the evidence supporting it. The Plan also introduces new national strategies to reduce gender-based violence and human rights violations against Sex Workers.

In addition, the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, nder Pillar 3: Protection, Safety and Justice the Plan calls for the fast tracking and finalisation of legislative processes to decriminalise sex work and that Legislation on Decriminalisation be promulgated.

Throughout June Asijiki will be running a the ‘Sex Worker Promise’ campaign on social media to remind President Ramaphosa of the commitments that he made to stand in solidarity with sex workers and decriminalise sex work. We will launch the campaign on 2 June (International Sex Workers’ Day). We need your support to ensure that the campaign gets attention by ensuring that sex workers’ and our allies’ voices are heard. Please join us in creating a strong media presence via social media from the 2nd of June and throughout June.

How can you show support?

  1. Send us photos and videos! We’d love for you to send us a photo and/or a video of you wearing your t-shirt (Sex Work Promise). Please make sure that there is good lighting and that we see all the writing on the t-shirt
  • If you send a video, please make sure that it is less than 1 minute long. Here are a few suggestions for messaging in the video:
  • “Keep your promise to sex workers and decriminalise sex work President Ramaphosa”
  • You can share why sex work needs to be decriminalised.
  • You can share what the challenges are that sex workers face because of the criminalisation of sex work.
  • You can post the videos on your own social media pages and your organisational social media platforms. When posting on social media please include the hashtags #DecriminaliseSexWork and #SexWorkPromise and #InternationalSexWorkersDay. Please tag @Asijiki Coalition on Facebook; @Asijiki4decrim on Twitter; and @asijiki_coalition on Instagram. Please also tag @CyrilRamaphosa, @PresidencyZA and @ANCWL_hq or @DOJCD_ZA on Twitter .

Here is some possible messaging for your social media posts

  1. Protect sex workers’ rights and keep the #SexWorkPromise to #DecriminaliseSexWork President Ramaphosa.
  2. #SexWorkIsWork Mr President. #DecriminaliseSexWork to protect sex workers and stand in solidarity with the #SexWorkPromise.
  3. What happen to your solidarity with sex workers President Ramaphosa? What happened to honouring the #SexWorkPromise? When will you #DecriminaliseSexWork?
  4. President Ramaphosa in the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) ‘National Sex Work Sector Plan 2016-2019’ you acknowledge that the plan can only be effective with #DecrimSexWork. Then why are you not honouring the #SexWorkPromise.
  5. Sex workers continue to be violated and killed because you have failed them President Ramaphosa. Keep the #SexWorkPromise and #DecriminaliseSexWork if you are serious about protecting us.
  6. If you don’t #DecriminaliseSexWork President Ramaphosa sex workers are denied the right to enjoy our right to bodily autonomy, labour rights and human rights. Honour the #SexWorkPromise President Ramaphosa.
  7. The time is now President, #DecriminaliseSexWork and honour the #SexWorkPromise.

Please direct questions and send your photos and videos to Constance Mathe: 078 004 2241