Sex workers interrupt deputy justice minister's meeting

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Durban, 19 July 2016 - Angry sex workers have interrupted a talk by Deputy Justice Minister. John Jeffery was addressing a group during a discussion on the decriminalisation of sex work at the 21st International Aids Conference in Durban.

DURBAN - Angry sex workers have interrupted a talk by Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery who was addressing a group during a discussion on the decriminalisation of sex work at the 21st International Aids Conference in Durban.

One of the attendees was denied entry to the International AIDS Conference over her criminal record and advocacy group Sweat, says sex workers are not respected.

"In a space where we would assume support we are pulled aside and questioned. We have to sensitise healthcare workers to do their jobs because sex work is stigmatised. Just like this conference, we must answer questions before being let in," said Sally Shackleton, Sweat Director

Government has commissioned a report looking into decriminalisation, but the justice department says the outlook isn&39;t good and the deputy minister&39;s feedback on the legal aspects of sex work didn&39;t go down well.

In March, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the National Sex Work Sector Plan to reaffirm the rights of sex workers.