Blantyre – On 8 September 2016, the Zomba High Court is expected to deliver judgment in a case relating to the interpretation of the offence of living on the earnings of prostitution.
In February 2016, 19 women were arrested and charged with the offence of living on the earnings of prostitution contrary to section 146 of the Penal Code. The women were convicted and sentenced to a fine.
The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) and the Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) supported the women to bring a review application on the basis that the police and court have misinterpreted the offence of living on the earnings of prostitution.
The matter was argued in the Zomba High Court before Justice Zione Ntaba on 28 July 2016. The applicants are represented by Fostino Maele.
What: Judgment in the case of Republic v PB and 18 Others (Case no. 58/ 2016)
When: 8 September 2016 at 9am
Where: Zomba High Court, Malawi
“Too frequently, women are arrested and detained by police on the charge of ‘living on the earnings’ when they committed no crime. The offence of living on the earnings of prostitution does not apply to sex workers but to those who try to exploit them. The arrests of sex workers are in violation of their human rights,” says Victor Mhango, Executive Director of CHREAA.
“The language, purpose and history of the offence clearly indicates that the offence has never been aimed at sex workers, but rather at those who exploit them,” says Tashwill Esterhuizen, Sex Worker Rights Programme Lawyer at SALC.
For updates follow twitter: @follow_salc, @chreaamalawi
Information on the case is available at:
Issued by: The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) and the Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA).