Sex Work Current Laws

What’s currently illegal in SA and what isn’t?

What isn’t illegal

The exchange of sexual services for money (what is commonly understood to be “prostitution”).

 

A number of offences exist which target activities surrounding sex work however:

What is illegal

Summary Offences Act 1953

25—Soliciting

A person who—

     (a)     in a public place, or within the view or hearing of any person in a public place, accosts or solicits a person for the purpose of prostitution; or

    (b)     loiters in a public place for the purpose of prostitution,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: $750.

25A—Procurement for prostitution

    (1)     A person must not engage in procurement for prostitution.

Maximum penalty:

For a first offence—$1 250 or imprisonment for 3 months.

For a subsequent offence—$2 500 or imprisonment for 6 months

    (2)     A person engages in procurement for prostitution if the person—

     (a)     procures another to become a prostitute; or

    (b)     publishes an advertisement to the effect that the person (or some other person) is willing to employ or engage a prostitute; or

     (c)     approaches another person with a view to persuading the other person to accept employment or an engagement as a prostitute.

    (3)     In this section—

advertisement includes a notice exhibited in, or so that it is visible from, a public place.

26—Living on the earnings of prostitution

    (1)     A person who knowingly lives, wholly or in part, on the earnings of prostitution of another person is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: $2 500 or imprisonment for 6 months.

    (2)     In proceedings for an offence against subsection (1), the fact that a person lives with, or is habitually in the company of, a prostitute and has no visible lawful means of support is, in the absence of proof to the contrary, proof that that person is knowingly living on the earnings of prostitution.

 

Part 6—Brothels

27—Interpretation

In this Part—

brothel means premises—

     (a)     to which persons resort for the purpose of prostitution; or

    (b)     occupied or used for the purpose of prostitution;

premises includes a part of premises.

28—Keeping and managing brothels

    (1)     A person who—

     (a)     keeps or manages a brothel, or assists in keeping or managing a brothel; or

    (b)     receives money paid in a brothel in respect of prostitution,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty: For a first offence—$1 250 or imprisonment for 3 months.

For a subsequent offence—$2 500 or imprisonment for 6 months.

    (2)     A person who acts or behaves as master or mistress, or as a person having the control or management, of a brothel will, for the purposes of this section, be taken to keep that brothel, whether he or she is or is not the keeper.

29—Permitting premises to be used as brothels

A person who—

     (a)     lets or sublets premises knowing that they are to be used as a brothel; or

    (b)     permits premises to be used as a brothel,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

For a first offence—$1 250 or imprisonment for 3 months.

For a subsequent offence—$2 500 or imprisonment for 6 months.

30—Prosecutions

    (1)     A prosecution cannot be instituted under this Part without the written consent of the Commissioner or a senior police officer.

    (2)     An apparently genuine document produced by the prosecutor and purporting to authorise a prosecution under this Part and purporting to be signed by the Commissioner or a senior police officer will be accepted, in the absence of proof to the contrary, as evidence of the consent of the Commissioner or senior police officer to the prosecution.

31—Determination of tenancy of brothels

    (1)     Upon the conviction of the tenant, lessee or occupier of premises for permitting the premises, or a part of the premises, to be used as a brothel, the landlord or lessor may require the person so convicted to assign the lease or other contract under which the premises are held to some person approved by the landlord or lessor (which approval must not be unreasonably withheld).

    (2)     If a person so convicted fails within one month to assign the lease or contract in accordance with a requirement made under subsection (1), the landlord or lessor may determine the lease or other contract, but without prejudice to any rights or remedies of a party to the lease or contract in respect of anything done or omitted before the determination of the lease or contract.

    (3)     If the landlord or lessor, after such a conviction has been brought to his or her notice, fails to exercise the rights under subsection (1) and subsequently during the subsistence of the lease or contract the premises are again used as a brothel, the landlord or lessor will be taken to have permitted the premises to be used as a brothel.

    (4)     Where a landlord or lessor determines a lease or other contract under the powers conferred by this section and subsequently grants another lease or enters into another contract of tenancy to, with or for the benefit of the same person, without causing to be inserted in the lease or contract reasonable and adequate provisions for preventing the premises from being used as a brothel, he or she will, if the premises are subsequently used as a brothel, be taken to have permitted the premises to be used as a brothel.

32—Power of police to enter suspected brothels

The Commissioner or a senior police officer, or any other police officer authorised in writing by the Commissioner or a senior police officer, may at any time enter and search premises which he or she suspects on reasonable grounds to be a brothel.

 

Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935

Part 9—Miscellaneous and procedure

Division 1—Punishment for certain common law offences

270—Punishment for certain offences

    (1)     Any person convicted of any of the following common law offences, that is to say:

    (b)     keeping a common bawdy house or a common ill-governed and disorderly house;

     (c)     any cheat or fraud punishable at common law,

shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding two years.

 

 

 

 

The Bill does not change any of the provisions in:

Division 12—Commercial sexual services and related offences

65A—Definitions relating to commercial sexual services

    (1)     For the purposes of this Division—

ask connotes a request made with serious intendment (as distinct from one made without an actual intention of obtaining the ostensible object of the request);

child means a person under the age of 18 years;

commercial sexual services means services provided for payment involving the use or display of the body of the person who provides the services for the sexual gratification of another or others;

compulsion—a person compels another (the victim) if the person controls or influences the victim's conduct by means that effectively prevent the victim from exercising freedom of choice;

payment includes any form of commercial consideration;

sexual servitude means the condition of a person who provides commercial sexual services under compulsion;

undue influence—a person exerts undue influence on another (the victim) if the person uses unfair or improper means to influence the victim's conduct.

    (2)     For the purposes of this Division, a person whose conduct causes a particular result is taken to have intended that result if the person is reckless about whether that result ensues.

66—Sexual servitude and related offences

    (1)     A person who compels another to provide or to continue to provide commercial sexual services is guilty of the offence of inflicting sexual servitude.

Maximum penalty:

     (a)     if the victim is a child under the age of 14 years—imprisonment for life;

    (b)     if the victim is a child under the age of 18 years—imprisonment for 19 years;

     (c)     in any other case—imprisonment for 15 years.

    (2)     A person who, by undue influence, gets another to provide, or to continue to provide, commercial sexual services is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

     (a)     if the victim is a child under the age of 14 years—imprisonment for life;

    (b)     if the victim is a child under the age of 18 years—imprisonment for 12 years;

     (c)     in any other case—imprisonment for 7 years.

    (3)     A person charged with an offence against subsection (1) (the aggravated offence) may be convicted, on that charge, of an offence against subsection (2) (the lesser offence) if the court is not satisfied that the aggravated offence has been established beyond reasonable doubt but is satisfied that the lesser offence has been so established.

    (4)     The question whether, in a particular case, a defendant's conduct amounts to compulsion or undue influence (or neither) is one of fact to be determined according to the circumstances of the particular case.

    (5)     Evidence of the following or any combination of the following may be relevant to that question—

     (a)     fraud, misrepresentation or suppression of information;

    (b)     force or a threat of force;

     (c)     any other threat (including a threat to take action that may result in the victim's deportation or a threat to take other lawful action);

    (d)     restrictions on freedom of movement;

     (e)     supply, or withdrawal of supply, of an illicit drug;

     (f)     abuse of a position of guardianship or trust;

     (g)     any other form of unreasonable or unfair pressure.

67—Deceptive recruiting for commercial sexual services

A person who—

     (a)     offers another (the victim) employment or some other form of engagement to provide personal services; and

    (b)     knows at the time of making the offer—

     (i)     that the victim will, in the course of or in connection with the employment or engagement, be asked or expected to provide commercial sexual services; and

    (ii)     that the continuation of the employment or engagement, or the victim's advancement in the employment or engagement, will be dependent on the victim's preparedness to provide commercial sexual services; and

     (c)     fails to disclose that information to the victim at the time of offering the employment or engagement,

is guilty of an offence.

Maximum penalty:

     (a)     if the victim is a child—imprisonment for 12 years;

    (b)     in any other case—imprisonment for 7 years.

68—Use of children in commercial sexual services

    (1)     A person must not employ, engage, cause or permit a child to provide, or to continue to provide, commercial sexual services.

Maximum penalty:

     (a)     if the child is under the age of 14 years—imprisonment for life;

    (b)     in any other case—imprisonment for 9 years.

    (2)     A person must not ask a child to provide commercial sexual services.

Maximum penalty:

     (a)     if the child is under the age of 14 years—imprisonment for 9 years;

    (b)     in any other case—imprisonment for 3 years.

    (3)     A person must not—

     (a)     have an arrangement with a child who provides commercial sexual services under which the person receives, on a regular or systematic basis, the proceeds, or a share in the proceeds, of commercial sexual services provided by the child; or

    (b)     exploit a child by obtaining money knowing it to be the proceeds of commercial sexual services provided by the child.

Maximum penalty:

     (a)     if the child is under the age of 14 years—imprisonment for 5 years;

    (b)     in any other case—imprisonment for 2 years.

    (4)     In proceedings for an offence against this section, it is not necessary for the prosecution to establish that the defendant knew the victim of the alleged offence to be a child.

    (5)     However, it is a defence to a charge of an offence against this section if it is proved that the defendant believed on reasonable grounds that the victim had attained 18 years of age.

 

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