The government must support and protect all who live here, including foreign-born migrants. If it does not, the devastating consequences of Covid-19 will never be corrected. No reduced lockdown, mass availability of testing or vaccines rollout will prevent the scourge of poverty from deepening if police continue to target the livelihoods of those with few options.
Photographs of nooses, bound hands, bruised faces and gagged mouths of women and children – with the words ‘save’, ‘innocent’, ‘bought’ or ‘sold’ – are appearing on billboards and on social and other media. This kind of imagery is sensationalist and designed to evoke a social and moral panic. They do little more than distract us from the underlying issues that make human trafficking possible.
Marcel van der Watt’s recent opinion piece on the effects of decriminalising sex work in South Africa makes such outlandish claims that it’s tempting to ignore him, if what he wrote wasn’t so disturbing and misrepresentative of the sex workers’ rights movement.