Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children
One of the core implications of ‘HUMAN DIGNITY’ is that a human being is not and may not be used as a means to an end. Human beings are always ends in themselves, which places a duty on us to exercise ‘RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM’ in the way we treat each other.
OPPOSING THE LEGALISING OF PORNOGRAPHY ON MEDIA PLATFORMS.
CFJ has been involved in the fight against sexual exploitation – especially of women – in the media from its inception in 2013 (read more below under “Cause for Justice v ICASA & TopTV”). From April 2016, CFJ has taken part in public consultation in Parliament on the proposed amendments to the Films and Publications Act, 1996. Proposals include the legalising of internet pornography (and allowing more vile types of pornography to be distributed) in South Africa – which we oppose – and putting measures in place to protect children from exposure to pornography – which we support.
In addition to the online space, there are various other media platforms (such as television, advertising, print media etc.) that must be regulated in the public interest to protect and promote human dignity and responsible exercise of constitutional freedoms, such as the freedom to receive or impart information or ideas.
OPPOSING THE LEGALISING OF PROSTITUTION.
Under current South African law, prostitution is unlawful and criminally prosecuted. The decriminalisation/legalisation of prostitution has been under consideration for a number of years. During May 2017 the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) issued its Report on Project 107 – Adult Prostitution. The SALRC’s findings were in essence that prostitution should not be legalised/ decriminalised in full, as it will result in further exploitation of already vulnerable women.
Despite the clarity of the SALRC’s Report, a number of lobby groups and policy-makers remain steadfast in their quest to make prostitution legal and rebranding it as a form of work.
CFJ remains even more resolute to ensure that our laws affirm the dignity/worth of all persons, especially those among us most vulnerable to exploitation.
OTHER LINKED CAUSES:
Cause for Justice & Others v ICASA and TopTV (StarSat)
In 2013, CFJ, and two other organisations, applied to court for the review and setting aside of ICASA’s decision to allow StarSat (previously “TopTV”) to broadcast three pornographic channels on South African television.
On 3 November 2014, the Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of CFJ and its co-applicants and set aside ICASA’s decision.
StarSat first approached the High Court, and the Supreme Court of Appeal to appeal the decision with CFJ opposing both these applications. On 25 March 2015 the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed StarSat’s leave to appeal application with costs, finding in CFJ’s favour. As a result, South African television remains free from pornography.