Although commercial sex work is legal in South Sudan, soliciting is not. The government have repeatedly frowned at it and has decided to take an active stand to curb it.
The government has ban nightclubs and disco’s and have limited bars to open from 5 pm to 9 pm with the latest time being 10 pm. This ban would begin in the capital, Juba which has a large percentage of sex traders because of the high number of foreign residents.
Juba is the capital of sex work and many justify their migration to Juba as a way to achieve sexual freedom and improve their financial situation. Following several decades of civil war with Sudan, industry and infrastructure in landlocked South Sudan are still severely underdeveloped and poverty is widespread.
In 2012, there were 3,500 commercial sex workers in Juba, however, the number rose to 10,000 in 2014 and is heavily skyrocketing. Little wonder an amazed Augustino Jadalla Wani, South Sudan’s Jubek State governor stated that “what is happening there is really dangerous for the future of this country. You cannot imagine the young girls – 12 years, 13 years – you get them in disco areas and some places, even the lodges inside the town, they use something called ‘take away,’ these are young girls – take away. You can imagine a human being we name them to be take away. That is totally destroying the future of the coming generation.”
Authorities in South Sudan say nightclubs & discos will be banned in the Capital Juba and wider Jubek state.
Bars will only be allowed to open between 5-10pm, and couples wanting hotel rooms will be required to show marriage certificates. pic.twitter.com/cBsxIRBtAW— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) May 11, 2019
“I issued orders to stop the discos and also to stop opening the bars during the daytime. The order is in place and we’re implementing it, meaning nightclubs are shut down. The city council has received a lot of complaints from residents that they’re being disturbed by these nightclubs the whole night” governor Wani added.
The current legislation in South Sudan punishes soliciting others for prostitution; profiting from, managing, or facilitating brothels; procuring others for prostitution; and trafficking humans outside the country for sex work. The punishments for these offences included fines, short-term imprisonment, or both but now a total ban would be enforced.