After millennia, formal slavery in most jurisdictions worldwide eventually came to an end by the middle of the nineteenth century. Yet, all kinds of trapped forms of labour took its place, among others sexual slavery—one of the most serious organised crimes of our time and historically one of the oldest human practices of gender inequality and exploitation. This chapter starts with broad, introductory remarks on the possible causes of sexual slavery and exploitation as well as what we as a society can do to collectively address this pressing issue. It then looks in more detail at the extent of this problem in South Africa. The chapter then moves on to consider antihuman trafficking legislation in South Africa and what it entails; a distinction is made between sexual slavery and sex work; and the reasons, effects and value of decriminalising sex work are referred to. A short account is given of the mythologised life of Sara Baartman, one of the most famous, but also least known, South African woman of her day and what we can learn from her about gender inequality, sexual slavery and exploitation.
Part of the book: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
In South Africa, the death penalty has been repealed just after the arrival of democracy in 1994. At present, due to numerous daily murders, especially farm murders, this issue is being debated once again seriously – by ordinary citizens, politicians, theologians, and others. In the media, in particular, it gets a lot of attention and in view of the extent of violent crime in our country, the reinstatement of the death penalty is again supported by many. The death penalty as such will always be contentious because it is about the reasoned termination of someone’s life – which is a radical act. Between 2009 and 2013 I did research on the death penalty in South African prisons (the first of its kind as far as we could determine), in all 9 our country’s provinces. The content of this study, gathered from 467 convicted murderers, and several other core aspects of why the reinstatement of the death penalty particularly in South Africa, should not be an option, will be discussed with reference to supporting international and authoritative research.
Part of the book: Human Rights in the Contemporary World