In South Africa, sex work is criminalized. Sex workers are seen as acceptable targets of abuse. Police sexually abuse sex workers, profile sex workers, and arbitrarily arrest sex workers on non sex-work-related charges. Health care professionals deny services and preventative care to sex workers. Clients and pimps abuse sex workers with impunity. The law then reinforces this systemic behavior, threatening the health and safety of this marginalized community.
This week, the Open Society Foundation published the fifth video in the Bringing Justice to Health project. As part of a series of videos highlighting the legal empowerment work of different grantee programs across the globe, These Rights are For Us features The Women's Legal Centre--a South African organization dedicated to equality for women--and the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Task Force--a sex worker-led support and advocacy group. This video features Ncumisa's journey from sex worker to paralegal; empowering her peers in Cape Town, South Africa.