What is the legality of prostitution in South Sudan?

Is Prostitution Legal in South Sudan?

Prostitution in South Sudan is illegal. However, the ongoing civil unrest and instability in the country have contributed to an increase in the number of sex workers and the prevalence of prostitution. Despite its illegality, the practice is widespread and often goes unchecked by law enforcement due to corruption and lack of resources.

What Are the Laws, Penalties, and Law Enforcement Practices Regarding Prostitution in South Sudan?

  • Prostitution is prohibited under the Penal Code Act of 2008, which criminalizes engaging in, soliciting, or living off the earnings of prostitution.
  • Penalties for engaging in prostitution can include fines, imprisonment, or both. However, due to widespread corruption and lack of resources, these penalties are often not enforced.
  • Law enforcement practices are inconsistent and vary greatly throughout the country. In some areas, police may actively target sex workers and their clients, while in others, the practice is largely ignored.
  • Sex workers in South Sudan often face violence, abuse, and exploitation at the hands of clients, police, and others in the community. Due to the illegality of their work, they are often reluctant to report these incidents to the authorities.

How is Prostitution Referred to Locally in South Sudan?

Prostitution in South Sudan is often referred to as commercial sex work or simply sex work. Sex workers are sometimes referred to as ladies of the night or night workers. The term prostitution is not commonly used in everyday conversation, as it carries negative connotations and can contribute to the stigmatization of sex workers.

What is the History of Prostitution in South Sudan?

Prostitution has been a part of South Sudanese society for many years, but the practice has become more prevalent since the country gained independence in 2011. The ongoing civil war, economic hardship, and lack of educational and employment opportunities have forced many women and girls into prostitution as a means of survival. Additionally, the presence of international peacekeeping forces and humanitarian workers has contributed to the demand for sex work in the country.

How Do Government Laws and Links Impact Prostitution in South Sudan?

  • The criminalization of prostitution in South Sudan makes it difficult for sex workers to access healthcare, legal assistance, and social services. This lack of support can leave them vulnerable to violence, exploitation, and sexually transmitted infections.
  • Corruption within the government and law enforcement agencies often allows for the exploitation of sex workers and the continuation of prostitution in the country. In some cases, police officers and other officials have been known to engage in or facilitate sex trafficking and exploitation of sex workers.
  • South Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking, including forced prostitution. The government has made efforts to combat trafficking, but progress has been slow and hindered by ongoing conflict and instability.
  • International organizations, such as the United Nations and Human Rights Watch, have documented cases of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls in South Sudan, including those involved in prostitution. These organizations have called for increased efforts to protect vulnerable populations and hold perpetrators accountable.

In conclusion, prostitution in South Sudan is illegal and carries significant risks for those involved. The ongoing conflict and instability in the country have contributed to an increase in sex work and exploitation, while corruption and lack of resources have hindered efforts to address these issues. International organizations and advocacy groups continue to call for greater support and protection for sex workers and other vulnerable populations in South Sudan.

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