File photo: She said prostitution was a lucrative form of organised crime in Cape Town.
File photo: She said prostitution was a lucrative form of organised crime in Cape Town.

Lesotho boys trafficked to Cape Town, says NGO

By Soyiso Maliti Time of article published Mar 5, 2017

Share this article:

Cape Town - A veteran politician, whose NGO helps sex workers and sex trafficking victims leave prostitution, says her organisation has reliably learnt from the UN that young boys are being trafficked from Lesotho to Cape Town for sex work.

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, former deputy minister in the defence and health ministries, revealed this to sister newspaper Weekend Argus as sexworkers commemorated International Sex Workers’ Day on Friday.

Furthermore, she said more than 250 women had visited Embrace Dignity’s offices in Woodstock over the past year, seeking support to leave prostitution.

“This has underlined our conviction that the solution lies in reforming the law on prostitution, a key component of commercial sexual exploitation, a driving force behind the huge growth in human trafficking,” Madlala-Routledge said.

She said prostitution was a lucrative form of organised crime in Cape Town.

“It thrives in conditions of gender inequality, poverty and gender-based violence.”

Madlala-Routledge said the current legal framework criminalised and stigmatised women who end up in prostitution as a result of vulnerability and limited options.

“Prostitution is inherently harmful and exit is extremely difficult without support,” she said.

“Cape Town, like other large cities, particularly near major trucking highways and our porous borders, has seen a ballooning of the sex trade, which fuels trafficking and prostitution.

“A large number of the women who have come to us for help came to Cape Town hoping for a better life.

“Some of the women and men who have come on our programme have been trafficked into Cape Town from neighbouring countries, for example Zimbabwe and Mozambique,” Madlala-Routledge said

She added that the majority of the survivors in their programme were addicted to drugs.

Prostitution often went with mental and physical trauma, alcohol and drug abuse, dissociation, HIV and other STIs and TB.

“Most suffer isolation from their families and communities as a result of the subsequent stigma.” “Life expectancy among prostituted people is considerably lower than the population average.”

Madlala-Routledge said Embrace Dignity had made submissions to Parliament’s petitions committee to look at issues, including police brutality, affecting prostitutes.

Weekend Argus

Share this article: